“Always follow the money” has been sound advice in law enforcement and political circles for decades. Nevertheless, tracking the flows of illicit funds generated by drug trafficking and organized crime and analysing the magnitude and the extent to which these are laundered through the world’s financial systems remain daunting tasks.

UNODC’s research report, Estimating illicit financial flows resulting from drug trafficking and other transnational organized crimes, attempts to shed light on the total amounts likely to be laundered across the globe, as well as the potential attractiveness of various locations to those who launder money. As with all such reports, however, the final monetary estimates are to be treated with caution. Further research and more systematic collection of data on this topic are clearly required.