Globally, crime generates approximately 2.1 trillion dollars annually, which is about 3.6 percent of world’s gross domestic product, Yury Fedotov, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said at a news conference.
The data is based on figures calculated data for 2009, The Telegraph reports.
During the opening day of the week-long meeting of the International Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), Fedotov described the criminal business as a threat to global security and economic development.
He said that up to 40 billion dollars is lost due to corruption in developing countries annually.
He added that illegal income from human trafficking amounted to 32 billion dollars every year.
He also cited a range of other crimes such as illegal trafficking, violence, corruption and organized crime yielding big money, adding that they were also major impediments to the Millennium Development Goals.
Criminal groups have shown ''impressive adaptability'' to law enforcement actions and to new profit opportunities, a senior US official said during the meeting.
Today, criminal organizations had no resemblance to the hierarchical crime family and instead consisted of loose and informal networks that often converged when it was convenient and engaged in various criminal activities, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols, US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, added.
He said terrorist groups in some cases were turning to crime to help fund their operations.