MARRAKECH, Morocco, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Criminals may have laundered about $1.6 trillion in 2009, a report released Tuesday in Morocco by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime indicated.
The total represents 2.7 percent of global gross domestic product in 2009 and aligns with the 2 percent-to-5 percent range of global GNP established by the International Monetary Fund to estimate the scale of money-laundering, the U.N. agency said in a release.
"Tracking the flows of illicit funds generated by drug trafficking and organized crime and analyzing how they are laundered through the world's financial systems remain daunting tasks," UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, who released the report in Marrakech during the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Corruption meeting.
The report, "Estimating illicit financial flows resulting from drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime," also said the "interception rate" for anti-money-laundering efforts globally remained low.
Concerning the international drug trade, the report focused on the market for cocaine, saying traffickers' gross profits from that was about $84 billion in 2009.
Criminal proceedings, excluding tax evasion, likely amounted to about $2.1 trillion, or 3.6 percent of the global GDP in 2009, the report said.
Once illegal money entered the global and financial markets, it becomes harder to trace and the laundering of illicit funds may perpetuate crime and drug trafficking, the report said.
"UNODC's challenge is to work within the U.N. system and with member states to help build the capacity to track and prevent money-laundering, strengthen the rule of law and prevent these funds from creating further suffering," Fedotov said.