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Identify Arms Dealers

Small arms proliferation is a term used by organizations arguing for weapons restriction of small arms sales to private citizens in conflict zones; they claim that the number of deaths in a conflict zone will decline if the availability of small arms is reduced. Several international organizations (including Oxfam International, Amnesty International, and the United Nations) and domestic have committed themselves to limiting the trade in, and proliferation of, small arms around the world. According to their estimates, there are over 600 million small arms in the world, and approximately 500,000 people are killed by their use annually.

A 2003 report from the Small Arms Survey found that at least 1,134 companies in 98 countries are involved in some aspect of the production of small arms and/or ammunition, although due to the lack of a global reporting system the exact amount is unknown. The total economic impact is nearly $7 billion U.S. per year and growing. The largest exporters of small arms by volume are the European Union and the United States. Also, Cold War-era exports of small arms from the U.S., China, the former Soviet Union, Germany, and other nations are still floating around. Many of these are now available to smaller governments and arms dealers.

Global Enforcement List

The Global Enforcement List (GEL) contains the profiles of individuals and companies suspected or known to have either been involved in illegal activities or served as middlemen or shell companies for activities relating to the following:

  • Corruption
  • War crimes
  • Arms trafficking
  • Illegal diamond trading (blood diamonds)

For example, arms trader Viktor Bout had over 200 shell corporations, which he used to launder the money resulting from arms trafficking. WorldCompliance has an extensive profile of these corporations, including their directors and associates, which in most cases cannot be found in any other public source.