Top 10 Richest Criminal Organizations in the World

richest criminal organizations

Over the last three decades, much has been written about the so-called connection between criminals and terrorist gangs. Organized crime is a national and regional grouping of extremely centralized activities to engage in criminal operations. In this context, some terrorist entities become more and more tangled in illegal activities that they increasingly start to resemble as a criminal organization. There’s a long list of gangs and mafias that are involved in organized crimes.

Criminal organizations have existed for hundreds of years, and we have seen the rise of several notorious organizations jumbled in unlawful things. These gangs gain power and international reach through their crimes. A criminal organization or gang can also be referred to as a mafia, mob, or a ring. Activities of criminal organizations include assassination, blackmailing, bombings, illegal betting, kidnapping, prostitution, smuggling, oil smuggling, drug smuggling, contract killing, bribery, money laundering, price-fixing, illegal trading of nuclear materials, military equipment smuggling, passport frauds, human trafficking, etc.

These groups constantly seek up to obtain power, authority, and monetary gains. These groups are a growing threat to national and international security. According to the latest survey, the top 10 richest criminal organizations in the world are listed below:



Solntsevskaya Bratva

Solntsevskaya Bratva, the largest and the most powerful mafia in Russia, is estimated to bring in annual revenue of $8.5 billion. It’s a well-organized Russian gang group whose leader is Anatoly Knyazev.  This is involved in criminal activities such as contract killing, money laundering, auto theft, and many more.

The Medellin Cartel

The Medellin Cartel is a powerful, huge, and highly coordinated drug cartel in Colombia. It’s a semi-terrorist crime organization that originated in the city of Medellin, Colombia, founded and led by Pablo Escobar. He controlled an estimated 40% of the Medellin drug cartel’s business and is considered one of the world’s wealthiest gangsters. The organization was notorious for the illegal cocaine trade, violence for political aims, bombings, and kidnappings. It generated over $20 billion annually.


The estimated revenue for “Camorra” is $4.9 billion. It was started in the 17th century in Naples and has been run for hundreds of years. Of all the crime families, the Camorra is the most powerful and well-known.  The gang makes its money through illegal operations such as protection rackets, gambling, trafficking, and even counterfeiting.


It is Japan’s second-largest crime organization with an estimated revenue of $6.6 billion. Some of their activities include internet pornography and stock exchange manipulation. This crime group brings in billions of dollars through extortion, gambling, arms, and human trafficking.


This mob is a part of the Italian mafia with an estimated revenue of $4.5 billion. ‘Ndrangheta was started in the 19th century in Calabria. The ‘Ndrangheta of Calabria currently rules not only as Europe’s major trafficker in cocaine but as Italy’s most dominant Mob. It has always been on excellent terms with criminal allies. The ‘Ndrangheta has expanded its criminal and illegal activities that include selling drugs, investing in legal businesses that would be used for laundering money.

Sinaloa Cartel

Today, Sinaloa Cartel is the largest cartel being operated in Mexico. It has an estimated revenue of $3 billion. They are estimated to have a market share of 60% of the $6.5 billion of drug revenues in Mexico. El Chapo Guzman is the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. He is infamous for performing the most shocking prison escapes. He runs one of the richest criminal organizations in the world. They smuggle cocaine into the U.S.

Irish Mob

richest criminal organizations
The fight between the Irish mob and Italians in NewYork City Image: Pinterest

The Irish Mob is also one of the organized crime syndicate in Ireland. This is more like a loose collection of gangsters, underworld families, and crime groups. They supervise the flow of medicine, money, and power into the remainder of Europe. They are involved in everything such as money laundering, killings, drugs, weapons. The group most often focuses on the drug trade.

Russian Mafia

The Russian Mafia is a 12-member company used to facilitate links and communications. These mobs take part in all kinds of illegal activities and operations, most notably drug-running and human trafficking to make money. This brings in $8.5 billion per year. 6,000 subgroups combine up to make a huge criminal body. The Russian mafia and the Italian mafia share the same portfolio for the criminal activities to run their criminal organizations.


Yakuza is considered the richest criminal organization in existence. The mob pulls in $13 billion annually through a sequence of illegal trading partnerships and business practices. Their total is around 80,000 or more. Kenichi Shinoda is the current head of the Yazuka organization. The Yazuka and it’s associated gangs supervises drug trafficking in Japan. Some Yakuza groups are known to deal completely with humans trafficking.

The Triads

The Triads are a long-established criminal organization rising from Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. They have enlarged to occupy territories in the other parts of South Africa, the USA, UK, Brazil, and Russia. The Triads keep going in various forms all over the world. They have trafficked 100,000 people per year into the US.


Related: Richest Countries in the World



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