Organized criminals will go to any length to get what they want using fear and intimidations to fill their own pockets. Now, the full extent of the problem has been highlighted in a report compiled during about 18 moths of strenuous efforts by a specialist committee at the European Parliament.
The new report concludes that there are 3,600 criminal gangs operating in the EU. 880,000 people, including children, have been trafficked into the EU and forced into slave labor. 270,000 people have been trafficked in for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Corruption by officials is estimated to cost 120 billion euro annually. Counterfeit sales and the illegal imports of items such as cigarettes cost legitimate businesses around 670 billion euro annually.
The illegal drugs trade in the EU is estimated to be worth approximately 100 billion euro each year. In addition, criminal gangs are making billions annually from the so called cyber crime whereby they manage to access personal accounts online. Organized crime in the EU has also resulted in a countless number of deaths.
This report calls for tougher laws and greater information sharing between EU countries IF the problem of organized crimes is to be combated effectively. Analysts, however, argue that the problem will never be fully tackled because of vast borders and highly organized gangs such as the Mafia in Italy, for example, are always striving to stay one step ahead of civil authorities.