Black People : Organised crime: the $2 trillion threat to the world's security

Goddess Auset333

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http://www.inteldaily.com/?c=117

Billions of dollars worth of bribes paid each year go into the pockets of public officials in rich countries

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
Wednesday September 12, 2007

Guardian

International organised crime has become a $2 trillion (£984bn) behemoth that threatens to pervert democracy around the world and fuel already dangerous levels of global inequality, a new study warns.

While the world is getting richer, the relentless rise of organised crime has emerged as one of the most potent threats to the planet's future, alongside global warming and the scarcity of drinkable water, according to the State of the Future survey by the World Federation of United Nations Associations.

The annual takings of criminal gangs around the world are roughly equivalent to Britain's GDP, or twice the world's combined defence budgets. Half of that amount is paid as bribes, which tend to make the rich and powerful even wealthier.

The 225 richest people on the planet now earn the same as the poorest 2.7bn, equivalent to 40% of humankind, the report finds. And although democracy is on the rise, with nearly half the world's population now living in democratic systems, it is in danger of being demolished by a culture of bribery.

"The implications the world has to understand is that government decisions can be bought and sold," Jerome Glenn, head of the association' s millennium project and one of the report's authors said. "What happens if organised crime decides that instead of buying and selling cocaine or heroin, it's going to buy and sell government decisions? That's a threat to democracy."

Contrary to the stereotype of the banana republic, only a minority of the political bribes paid each year goes to public officials in the developing world. The report published this week finds "the vast majority of bribes are paid to people in richer countries" where decision taking is "vulnerable to vast amounts of money".

Much of the income, more than $520bn, that flows through the world's black economy comes from counterfeiting and piracy. The drug trade is the second biggest earner, with an estimated $320bn in takings. Human trafficking is a small industry by comparison, worth under $44bn but arguably the most pernicious. According to the UN, up to 27 million people are now held in slavery, far more than at the peak of the African slave trade. The majority of the victims this time are Asian women.

The report says: "Violence against women by men continues to cause more casualties than wars do today." One in five women around the world will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. The situation is so bad schools should teach girls martial arts for self-defence, it says.

"We have departments of defence around the world protecting people. What's the department of defence for women?" Mr Glenn asked.

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http://www.inteldaily.com/?c=117
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,2167133,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront
 

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