All threat intelligence on the black market is collected from open source documents that are publicly available. Sourcs include government security services, legal cases, research papers from criminal justice programs, user-submitted data and media reports. Source for all threat information is listed at the bottom of the post.
Security forces in Jordan seized 300 percent more weapons and firearms on its border with Syria in 2013 when compared to 2012.
900 weapons, 24 vehicles, and 6 million illegal drug pills were seized while attempting to be smuggled into Jordan.
Along with the black market items, nearly 1,600 people were caught attempting to illegally enter Jordan from Syria in 2013.
(See the prices of guns on the black market.)
Source: IANS, “Smuggling of weapons rises sharply at Jordan borders,” Yahoo News India, December 6, 2013.
In 2012, government security services in Italy seized 28,000 tons of counterfeit food labels or adulterated products that was falsely labeled during the year. The counterfeit foods seized were worth $684 Million (€500 Million).
47 percent of the counterfeit labels involved Italian wine products.
4.6 tons of fake foods involved canned tomatoes, which were falsely labeled as organic or being produced in Italy.
Source: “Food pirates peddling fake olive oil, Chinese tomato sauce,” Ansa, December 5, 2013.
Border security agents in the United States have seen an increase in the number of teenagers transporting methamphetamine from Mexico into the US.
Back in 2009, security services arrested 176 minors under the age of 18 for entering California border crossing with marijuana. There were 5 arrests for methamphetamine.
In 2010, the arrests for marijuana smuggling decreased to 61 minors, with an increase to 27 minors for meth.
By 2011, meth overtook marijuana arrests with 40 arrests compared to 34 marijuana arrests. The trend continued in 2012 with 59 meth arrests and 14 arrests.
The 2013 fiscal year saw the largest gap between the two, with 75 meth arrests compared to 17 marijuana arrests.
Out of all drug-related arrests at US entry points, minors account for 5 percent of those arrests.
Intelligence collected by federal officials show that the Mexican drug cartels pay children $50 to $100 or each load that they carry across the border. The children, some as young as 12 years old, generally do not have a criminal record and do not abuse drugs.
Source: Sandra Dibble, “More Teens SMuggling Meth,” San Diego Union-Tribue, December 2, 2013.
A report release by researchers at Tilburg University in the Netherlands found that around 25,000 to 30,000 children were kidnapped and held for ransom by senior military officers with the Eritrea’s military between 2007 and 2012.
According to the report, all students in Eritrea are required to serve at a military camp in order to graduate from high school. At the camp, children between 16 to 17 years old would be kidnapped by military officers. While in captivity, the officers would call the victims family to demand a ransom. According to interviews conducted with survivors, the soldiers would demand a ransom payment of $7,500 to release the victim. If the families were unable to pay the ransom demand, then the military would sell the children to Bedouin traffickers.
In total, the researchers estimate that up to $600 Million in ransom have been paid out to the military.
(Cost of a human sold by traffickers.)
Source: Martin Plaut, “Eritrea’s military is trafficking the nation’s children, report says,” Guardian, December 3, 2013.
Surveillance by public health and security services indicate that 11 percent of all amphetamine and crystal meth users in China inject the drug.
In Cambodia, the rate of injection rate is 12 percent, and in Thailand the rate is 9 percent.
In Australia,where 3.4 percent of the population abuses amphetamine type stimulants, around 18 percent of the drug users inject the drugs.
Public health officials are concerned that the rising use of drug injections will lead to a rise in HIV infections.
The Southeast Asia region has seen a rise in the trafficking and production of methamphetamine. The Australian National Council on Drugs reports that intelligence services believe that there are up to 12 large-scale meth manufacturing operations in the Golden Triangle area of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.
Back in 1999, security forces identified 300 clandestine laboratories in Southeast Asia that was producing meth. 10 years later, the number of labs increased to nearly 700.
(Cost of meth around the world.)
Source: Sue Dunlevy, “Crystal meth drug Laboratories in South East Asia double,” News.com.au, December 5, 2013.
The Myanmar Timber Merchants Association reports that its members lose up to $200 Million per year in revenue due to illegal logging activities.
The timber is illegally cut down and exported to China.
According to environmental security officials, the areas were illegally logging are highly active is in the Kachina and Shan states that are located near the Myanmar-China border.
Source: “Millions lost in illegal timber trade with China,” Eleven Myanmar, December 4, 2013.
In 2011, there were 10,176 emergency room visits by Americans under the age of 21 related to taking ecstasy.
The number of ER admissions for ecstasy was 128 percent higher than the 4,460 visits recorded in 2005, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Survey.
Counting all illegal drugs, there were 1.2 million ER visits linked to illegal drugs in 2011.
Source: Michelle Castillo, “Ecstasy-related emergency department visits up 128 percent for people under 21,” CBS News, December 3, 2013.
The National Forum for the Prevention of Child Labor estimates that there were around 500,000 child prostitutes across Brazil in 2012.
The number of children in the sex industry has continually grown in Brazil. In 2001, there were 100,000 children working as prostitutes. In 2010, there were 250,000 children.
In an interview with a former child prostitute, the 16 year old girl told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that she was making about $18 a night catering to local customers. Eventually, she began targeting nightclubs and foreign tourists, where her nightly earnings increased to $90 per night.
(More black market income and earnings.)
While being interviewed at a shelter for children escaping the sex trade, the girl stated that she once purchased a fake id for $212 (500 Brazilian Reais) when a foreign tourist promised to take her to Europe.
Source: Adriana Brasileiro, “Brazil’s child sex trade thrives as World Cup looms,” Thomson Reuters Foundation, December 3, 2013.
According to security services in Colombia, between 10 to 15 percent of the fuel used by drivers in Colombia was smuggled into the country.
Roughly one million gallons of gasoline is smuggled into the country each day, with 70 to 80 percent of the fuel coming from Venezuela. The remaining gas is smuggled into Colombia from Ecuador.
In Venezuela, a gallon of gasoline costs about 1 cent when using the black market exchange rate.
Source: Matthew Bristow and Andrew Willis, “Cocaine for Venezuela Fuel Tankers Irks Colombia Tax Boss,” Bloomberg, December 2, 2013.