The 3rd Largest Mafia Business in the World Generates Billions in Crime Revenue Every Year

Excavating sand from unauthorized places and smuggling and selling this sand is the world’s third largest criminal business, with estimates ranging from 200-350 billion dollars worth of illegal sand moving around the world every year. The sand business is significant, ranking below only product counterfeiting and drug trafficking in terms of criminal areas. Organized crime groups involved in illegal sand mining, often referred to as the “sand mafia,” are known to operate in various regions around the world, engaging in violent activities such as murder.

Some sources suggest that the turnover of the illegal sand trade may not be as high as initially reported, but the magnitude of the numbers is still significant. Estimates of the amount of sand consumed annually worldwide vary, with figures suggesting that around 10-15 billion tons of sand are extracted each year. The illegal sand trade involves both wholesale and retail transactions, with prices varying depending on the country and method of purchase. Retail sales of sand, even in small quantities, can significantly increase the cash flow of the industry.

Despite discrepancies in reported figures, the illegal sand trade remains a lucrative criminal enterprise, with turnover estimates ranging from 50-100 billion dollars. However, more cautious estimates put the total value of the global sand trade, legal and illegal, at around 200 billion dollars. The exact figures may vary, but the scale of the illegal sand trade highlights the significant impact it has on the global economy and environment.

By Samantha Robertson

As a seasoned content writer at, my passion for storytelling and creativity shines through in every article I craft. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for research, I thrive on translating complex topics into engaging reads that resonate with our diverse audience. My goal is to inform, entertain, and inspire readers through thought-provoking content that leaves a lasting impact. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the world of news together.

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