South Africa ranks high on global index measuring organised crime activity

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South Africa has ranked 19th out of 193 countries on an index measuring organised crime activity.
South Africa has ranked 19th out of 193 countries on an index measuring organised crime activity.
Roger Sedres, Gallo Images
  • South Africa ranked high on a global index measuring organised crime activity.
  • The country was among the top 20 countries for criminality.
  • Trafficking of arms and drug trade were identified as two areas of concern. 

South Africa ranks 19th out of 193 countries on an index measuring organised crime activity.

The Global Organised Crime Index, published by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC), provides the first ever assessment of illicit economies in all 193 UN member states.

The index is the first clear measurement of the scope, scale and impact of organised crime. It also shows the penetration of criminal markets, the risks and impact of organised crime, the dynamics of criminal actors and the resilience of countries to deal with the problem.

Countries were given a score out of 10, with one the least activity and 10 the highest. With a criminality score of 6.63, South Africa ranked fifth out of the 54 African countries. Only the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic and Kenya scored higher.

According to a report on the index, South Africa also had the highest ranking among Southern African nations.

South Africa was found to have a high criminal market ranking, pushed up by a score of eight in the arms trafficking category.

'High murder rate'

The index's report listed incidents in which gangs illicitly acquired weapons that had been due for destruction from the police armoury, stating that it "helped fuel the abnormally high murder rate in the country".

The country was also found to have a high drug trade, scoring 8.5 in the category. The report found that South Africa was just one of the countries in the region affected by the global heroin trade.

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"The heroin market was noted as particularly significant in the major trans-shipment and destination states of Mozambique and South Africa, where Afghan heroin is increasingly imported in large quantities," the report stated.

The index also measured resilience, in which South Africa ranked 42nd globally and second on the continent.

When rating resilience, the index evaluates 12 indicators that speak to political, economic, legal, and social measures.

South Africa scored the highest in the measurement of non-state actors, with a score of seven. It received a 6.5 score for international cooperation and national policies and law.

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