Criminal networks earn huge sums of money every year but just how much? Precise numbers are difficult to obtain, of course, but the UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that drug trafficking, counterfeiting and many other forms of illicit trade bring in an estimated $870 billion every year. That's equivalent to 1.5 percent of global GDP. Brink recently published a list of 12 types of illegal trade compiled by Global Financial Integrity, arriving at a slightly lower total. It found that drug trafficking makes $320 billion in revenue for the world's criminals while counterfeiting yields $250 billion.
This chart shows estimated annual revenues for illicit trade by sector.
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