Transnational crime makes $1trn a year - McDowell


International organised crime generates $1 trillion in profits per annum and national law enforcement agencies must co-operate to combat this threat, the Minister for Justice said today.

Addressing a Belfast conference on organised crime, Mr McDowell said only "multi-lateral efforts can hope to work effectively to inhibit transnational organised crime".

Law enforcement tools such as the European Arrest Warrant and a new EU framework for joint-investigation teams were helping to overcome these jurisdictional problems, said Mr McDowell.

He highlighted the work of the Criminal Assets Bureau as one example of progress tracking and confiscating the proceeds of organised crime.

The Minister said he would develop a programme of co-operation among the EU States to fight organised crime and bring this forward during Ireland's Presidency of the EU which begins in January.

"Organised crime isn't victimless, it's doesn't affect some faceless group of big business men, it affects everyone . . . . [it] harms whole communities," Mr McDowell said.

"Huge amounts are being lost to governments through direct defrauding of social security benefits by organised criminals," he added.