Home >news >world >Gangs earn $90 bn from counterfeit drugs, smuggling in East Asia: UN report

Singapore: Illegal trade in goods, natural resources, drugs and people is generating $90 billion a year for criminal networks in East Asia and the Pacific, according to a report on Tuesday by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Counterfeit goods, wood products, heroin, methamphetamines and fake medicines are especially lucrative, the report showed. Fake goods shipped from the region to the US and Europe are estimated to be worth $24.4 billion a year.

East Asia and the Pacific have experienced rapid economic and social changes during the past decades and faced the considerable regulation challenges these changes create for public authorities, the report said.

While the World Bank expects the developing economies of East Asia to grow at three times the pace of the global economy, crimes from child-trafficking in China to manufacturing imitation drugs in Pakistan have tarnished its image. Three- quarters of the counterfeit products seized worldwide from 2008 to 2010 were manufactured in the region, the World Customs Organization says.

Tuesday’s report estimates that crime groups in East Asia each year make $17 billion from illegal wood products, $16.3 billion from heroin, $15 billion from methamphetamines and $5 billion from fake medicines.

“These transnational criminal activities are a global concern now," said Jeremy Douglas, UNODC representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. “Illicit profits from crimes in East Asia and the Pacific can destabilize societies around the globe." BLOOMBERG

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