This article argues that there is an implicit link between the objectives of peace operations and combating transnational crime, based on UN peacekeeping man­ dates to support the rule of law. Indeed, if these missions aim to build peace, security and the rule of law, then, logically, they need to be part of a strategy that addresses threats to these objectives, including transnational crime. Simi­ larly, we argue that UN panels of experts play a vital role in identifying aspects of transnational criminal networks and in offering ways for the ‘international community’ to address them. We consider the role of UN panels of experts in monitoring transnational crime and illicit networks, and of UN peace operations in fostering state legitimacy, rule of law and sustainable peace. We identify early links between these UN tools and argue that their better integration could enhance peacebuilding and rule of law efforts. Finally, we offer recommendations for these efforts in post-conflict states.