Organized crime spreading, using modern technology, un panel told.

The head of the United Nations drug and crime office has reported that sub-Saharan Africa is the region most impacted by organized crime, and that outlaws were increasingly turning to high technology.

Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) told the General Assembly's Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee that his office had recently developed a composite index of organized crime, combining data on over 10 factors, and then ran the factors through the computers.

"The results showed that sub-Saharan Africa appeared to be the region most affected by organized crime, followed by Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean," he told the Third Committee yesterday.

Among the factors UNODC studies, he said, were " perceptions of organized crime and high-level corruption by business leaders, the extent of the grey economy, the degree of arms and tobacco smuggling, levels of human trafficking, car theft and money laundering."

Mr. Costa also told the Committee that criminals too, use advanced methods.

"Modern technology enabled criminals to launder money, commit large-scale fraud, attack computer systems and disseminate paedophile material," he said.

Mr. Costa said Asia and the Andean countries had seen a "sizeable reduction" of opium and coca cultivation, with the exception of Colombia and Afghanistan. He also detected a "significant" reduction in cocaine and heroin abuse in North America and Western Europe but new markets had emerged in Eastern Europe, Russia and China.

[Source: UN News Service, NY, 10oct03]

DDHH y Corrupción

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