11 rich countries with the biggest organized-crime problems

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The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published its annual Global Competitiveness Report, which compiles dozens of measures of economic and institutional health.

One of the subcategories used by the WEF is the prevalence of organized crime — listed under the "security" index. Extortion, racketeering, theft, violence, and property damage are all factors that could hold back a country's development.

To make the comparisons more reasonable, we only took countries from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). There are 34 nations, all democracies with mixed or market economies. The group is often though of as a rich countries' club.

We looked at the 11 worst OECD countries for organized crime. The lower the WEF ranking given, the worse the country is for organized crime. Some major economies, such as Russia, are not currently members of the OECD.

Here is the list.

11 rich countries with the biggest organized crime problems
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11 rich countries with the biggest organized crime problems

11. Greece

Corruption score: 5.1

The country's huge shipping industry and proximity to Asia creates opportunities for smuggling.

(Photo via REUTERS/John Kolesidis)

10. France

 Corruption score: 5.1

France ranks worse than other large EU countries like Spain, the UK, and Germany. Its Corsican mafia was once heavily involved in the trafficking of heroin into the US, referred to as "the French Connection."

(Photo credit BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)

9. Israel

Corruption score: 5.1

Israel saw a spike in mafia activity from Russia as it encouraged the immigration from the country after the fall of the Soviet Union. Important figures like Zeev Rosenstein and Itzhak Abergil have been extradited to the US.

(Photo via REUTERS/Ariel Schalit/Pool)

8. Germany

Corruption score: 5.0

Organised crime is becoming more prevalent in Germany. There is also concern that gangs are targeting the country's new influx of migrants, and recruiting young males as drug dealers and runners. 

(Photo credit SEBASTIAN WILLNOW/AFP/Getty Images)

7. South Korea

Corruption score: 4.9

Gangs known as "Kkangpae" operate in South Korea. Like Japan's Yakuza, they also often have tattoos that identify their affiliation.

(Photo by Andrey Shchekalev via Getty Images)

6. United States of America

Corruption score: 4.9

Despite its wealth, the US is placed roughly in the middle of the global rankings for organised crime, in 70th place.

(Photo via REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

5. Slovak Republic

Corruption score: 4.9

Slovakia is the second-worst ranked country in Europe for organised crime. Three lists of organised-crime associates and groups have been leaked in the country. It ranks at 74th place, exactly halfway down the ranks.

(Photo by Richard Radford via Getty Images)

4. Turkey

Corruption score: 4.8

As a gateway into Europe, Turkey is a predictable route for drug trafficking from the east, which the Turkish mafia takes advantage of. Turkish organised criminals also have a presence in London, and the country takes 77th place.

(Photo via REUTERS/Stringer)

3. Hungary

Corruption score: 4.6

Like many other countries under former communist systems, Hungary experienced a surge in organised crime in the 1990s, as gangs sought to capitalise on the lack of order and the sudden emergence of massive commercial activity. 

(AP Photo/Zaltan Mihadak)

2. Italy

Corruption score: 3.5

Italy, the symbolic home of the Mafia, is by far the worst-ranking EU country for organised crime, coming in 122nd place of 138.

(Photo by Stefano Montesi/Corbis via Getty Images)

1. Mexico

Corruption score: 2.6

Powerful and violent cartels have brought Mexico to the edge of civil war.Only Honduras, Venezuela, and El Salvador fare worse than the country in the security index.

(Photo credit should read PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)


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