Crime syndicates in East Asia and the Pacific are generating nearly $90 billion annually from illicit trade activities such as fake goods, drugs and human trafficking, claimed a UN report on Tuesday, highlighting the difficulty governments face to clamp down on transnational organised crime.
In its most comprehensive study of organised crime threats for the region to date, the UN said that the top money-makers for crime groups were the trade in counterfeit goods ($24.4 billion), followed by illegal wood products ($17 billion), heroin ($16.3 billion) and methamphetamines ($15 billion).
The sale of fake medicines ($5 billion), environmental crimes ($3.75 billion) and the illegal wildlife trade ($2.5 billion) also ranked closely behind, while studies showed that fake goods shipped from the region to the U.S. and Europe was worth close to $24.4 billion a year.
China was said to be the largest source of counterfeit goods, with 75 percent of counterfeit products seized worldwide originating from the region. In the meanwhile, much of the illegal timber trade came from widespread illegal logging in nations such as Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Cambodia. More....