What is the black market? How big is it? What types of goods are sold in the black market? To help create a clearer picture, Havocscope collects data from a wide range of sources. Sources include government security services, legal cases, research papers from criminal justice programs, user-submitted data and media reports. Source is listed at the bottom of each post.
The National Police Agency in Japan reported that the number of members in Japanese organized crime groups totaled 58,600 in 2013. The number of Yakuza members in 2013 was lower than the 63,200 reported in 2012.
This is the first time on record that the number of Yakuza members across the country was below 60,000.
Security experts in Japan state that there are various reasons for the decline in membership. Police have recently introduced tougher enforcement against the Yakuza, as well as a poor public image and a slowing Japanese economy has made the life of a gangster much more difficult in the country.
(More statistics about organized crime.)
The largest Yakuza group in Japan is still the Yamaguchi-gumi. The group had a total of 25,700 members in 2013, a decline of 2,000 members from the year before. The second largest gang, the Sumiyoski-kai, had 9,500 gangsters on its roll, a decline of 1,100 from the previous year.
Source: AFP, “Membership of Japan’s yakuza crime gangs falls to all-time low,” Guardian, March 6, 2014.
According to the National Shoplifting Prevention Coalition, over $13 Billion worth of goods and merchandise is stolen from stores in the United States each year. This breaksdown to over $35 Million worth of goods shoplifted each day. Due to the loss of merchandise, impact to the stores business, and rising cost, shoplifting affects the typical American family about $400 a year. In the State of Illinois, up to $1.5 Billion worth of items is stolen each year.
Police and security professionals estimate that 3 percent of all shoplifting is done by organized crime groups or professionals shoplifters who steal the goods for resale and profit.
Source: “$7 million shoplifting case shines light on crime’s bottom line,” ABC 7 Chicago, March 6, 2014.
According to agents with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation in Orlando, Florida, a woman told authorities that she was making up to $80,000 a month while working as a high class escort. Her friend, who was also working for the escort agency, told police that she made $500,000 a year, or about $42,000 a month.
Investigators stated that between 15 to 20 women were working for this group of illegal prostitution services. The illegal agency would charge customers $300 to $400 for one hour, with a five hour dinner date costing between $1,500 to $1,800.
(More earnings from the black market.)
Source: Amy Pavuk, “Arrest sheds light on ‘upscale’ escort business,” Orlando Sentinel, March 5, 2014.
A report in the New York Times highlighted the sex industry of Dongguan, China. The red light distict in Dongguan is considered to be one of the most developed sex trade areas in all of China. However, in February and March 2014, security forces have begun to crack down on the sex trade in the city.
Prior to the crackdown, the NY Times reported that the cost to hire a woman for two hours in an upscale brothel would cost about $160 (1,000 renminbi.)
Brothel owners also advertised job openings to women in the area. One help-wanted sign in the city stated that a prostitute could make between $1,640 to $4,900 a month. If a woman only wanted to be a karaoke bar hostess, then the woman could make up to $1,300 a month plus tips.
The scale of the sex trade on the local economy was being felt as business dried up due to the government crackdown. One club manager stated that two out of five people in the area would lose their jobs if the sex industry continued to be shut down. Another club owner stated that he was losing $10,000 per day in expenses and lost revenue. One taxi driver stated that he could make up to $120 per night from commissions paid out by brothel owners when he would bring customers to their location.
(More prostitute rates worldwide.)
Source: Edward Wong, “Red Lights Dim in China’s Sin City,” New York Times, March 6, 2014.
A man from Pakistan was arrested in Indonesia while he was attempting to smuggling packs of heroin to Thailand. When arrested at the airport, the man had 767 capsules in his stomach that contained 966 grams of heroin.
(How much does heroin cost?)
According to security forces, the man reportedly stated that he was paid $15,000 to swallow the capsules and transport it from Indonesia to Thailand.
(More earnings from illegal jobs.)
Source: “Drug smuggling ‘controlled from Thailand’,” Jakarta Post, March 7, 2014.
In 2013, authorities in the Czech Republic seized 2,045 counterfeit korunas within the country, down from the 3,586 counterfeit Czech banknotes seized in 2012.
In addition to the fake koruna, Czech financial investigators removed 1,085 counterfeit money and banknotes from foreign countries in 2013.
Below is the number of counterfeit koruna and altered coins that were removed from circulation between 2008 and 2013, according to data released by the Czech National Bank.
Year: No. of counterfeits.
(How criminals make counterfeit money.)
Source: “Number of fake banknotes, coins falls to 3,130 in 2013,” Prague Daily Monitor, March 6, 2014.
The Wildlife Conservation Office in Thailand released its figures of the number of wildlife and animals that it seized from wildlife traffickers in 2013.
According to the department, about 10,700 live animals, 1,348 carcasses of dead animals, and 3,293 kilograms of various animals parts were seized from wildlife traffickers in Thailand in 2013.
642 people involved in the illegal wildlife trade was also arrested in 2013.
Conservation officials reported that Sunda pangolins, squirrels, elephants, tigers and gibbons were the most seized animals in Thailand in 2013.
(More prices of exotic animals for sale.)
Source: Pongphon Samsamak, “Up to 10,000 smuggled animals seized in past year,” The Nation, March 4, 2014.
Over 129,500 people were recorded as victims of identity theft in the United Kingdom in 2013. The id theft cases accounted for over 60 percent of all fraud cases in the country, according to a fraud prevention service.
Over 90 percent of identity theft invovling plastic card accounts were committed on the Internet.
Criminals targeted credit cards the most, with credit card fraud accounting for 30 percent of all frauds, an increase from 24 percent in 2012. Mortgage fraud in the UK also increased by 26 percent, and loan fraud increased by 55 percent in 2013.
(Prices of online fraud and cyber crimes.)
Source: Warwick Ashford, “Identity theft linked to 60% of UK fraud in 2013,” ComputerWeekly, March 4, 2014.
According to user submitted data, the price of sex charged by street prostitutes in Tehran, Iran is between $50 to $65.
Customers pick up the prostitutes while driving on the streets of Tehran. In general, the asking rate is $65, but the payment price is usually lowered to $50. The customer brings the prostitute back to their apartment for an hour. Some prostitutes require the customer to bring her back to her original location.
Most of the street prostitutes in Tehran and native women in their 20s.
(More prostitution prices from the black market.)
Source: User submitted data, received by Havocscope on March 4, 2014.