SYDNEY – Organized crime is so big globally that if it were a country, it would be part of the Group of 20 group of major economies, the Australian government said Tuesday.
Releasing the Australian Crime Commission’s biennial report on the issue, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said organized crime has boomed and grown more complex since the advent of the Internet.
“Organized crime worldwide makes more than $870 billion every year. That’s bigger than the GDP of Indonesia,” said Clare. “If organized crime was a country, it would be in the G-20.”
In Australia, Clare said, the problem wipes 15 billion Australian dollars ($13.7 billion) from the economy every year, with thriving online marketplaces for guns, drugs, identity documents and child pornography. The figure is roughly equivalent to the annual spending of international students living in Australia.
“This is a real threat that has the potential to grow exponentially,” Clare said.
A U.N. report published in April estimated the cost of transnational organized crime in East Asia and the Pacific at $90 billion, with counterfeit goods, illegal wood products, heroin and methamphetamines the top money makers.