All illicit trade statistics listed is collected from open source materials such as news articles, law enforcement and security agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic studies. Every data point about the black market is listed with the original source. The information is organized by products, countries, categories, and prices when available.
According to the National Assembly Budget Office, the volume of money that is illegally gambled in South Korea is estimated to be $67.3 Billion (75 Trillion South Korean Won).
The volume of wages placed in illegal gambling operations in South Korea increased by 41 percent since 2008.
The legitimate size of the gambling industry in the country is $15.2 Billion, or roughly 22 percent the size of the illegal gambling industry.
Source: “Illegal Gambling Industry in Excess of 75 Tril. Won…NA Budget Office,” Korea IT Times, May 22, 2013.
Arrests for human smuggling in the Rio Grande Valley between the United States and Mexico increased by 65 percent as more people attempt to enter the US. In March 2013, US Border Patrol agents arrested 16,000 people who were attempting to enter the country.
Between October 2012 to March 2013, authorities found around 70 bodies that were buried in the valley, over twice the amount of dead bodies found in the previous time frame the year before.
In comparison to the increase of arrest at the Rio Grande Valley, arrests of migrants at the Tuscon, Arizona area decreased by 3 percent last year.
The migrants attempting to enter the United States are not simply from Mexico. Human smuggling groups are sending people originating from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
There were 94,532 arrests made by the US Border Patrol in 2012 of migrants who were not from Mexico. Nearly half of these non-Mexican migrants were arrested in the Rio Grande Valley.
Source: Zac Fine, “Crossing the Rio Grande… with the help of a U.S. immigration officer as force targets upsurge in Mexicans trying to get over border,” Daily Mail, May 21, 2013.
Police in the US city of Portland, Oregon stated that the sex industry in the city has become a tourist attraction. The area of Northeast 82nd Avenue is full of prostitutes with police stating that some of the prostitutes being 14 years old.
A man was arrested in a undercover sting and admitted to paying girls $130 for sexual services.
Source: Abbey Gibb, “Police: Child sex trafficking is Portland’s dirty secret,” KGW.com, May 20, 2013.
According to the Chairman of the Pharma Bureau in Pakistan, the pharmaceutical market in the country is worth $2 Billion year. Out of the total legitimate market, counterfeit drugs is estimated to take up to 15 percent of the market, or $300 Million a year.
The 15 percent estimate of fake drugs in Pakistan by industry representatives is lower than the 30 to 40 percent estimate given by the World Health Organization in 2012.
Source: Farhan Zaheer, “Country badly needs a study to assess threat from fake drugs,” Express Tribune, May 20, 2013.
Police in Central and East China broke up a counterfeit condom production ring that had 4.65 million fake condoms already packaged and ready for shipment. Police also found an additional 1,100 pounds of unpackaged counterfeit condoms at the warehouse.
The factory could produce up to 20,000 counterfeit condoms each day. The cost of produce one fake condom was $0.03 (0.17 Chinese Yuan), which would be sold for $0.16 (1 Yuan).
Health officials in China said that the condoms were poor quality and was prone to break during sexual activity.
Source: Kaijing Xiao, “Counterfeit Condom Ring Busted and Millions of Contraceptives Confiscated,” ABC News, May 15, 2013.
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested over 950 people for human trafficking crimes in 2012. The agency also rescued around 300 human trafficking victims and assisted in over 380 successful convictions of human traffickers. Back in 2010, the agency assisted in 144 human trafficking convictions.
Source: AFP, “US seeking to stamp out ‘evil’ of human trafficking,” Google News, May 17, 2013.
Police in Brazil broke up a human smuggling ring in the federal capital of Brasilia. 80 people from Bangladesh paid smugglers up to $10,000 per person to be illegally smuggled into Brazil.
Authorities in Brazil report an increase in human smuggling activities. With Brazil being South America’s largest economy, many migrants for other countries are illegally entering the country though smuggling routes through Peru and Bolivia.
(More fees charged by human smugglers here.)
Source: Shobhan Saxena, “Brazil launches biggest military operation to check drugs, human trafficking,” Times of India, May 18, 2013.
Italian mafia organization ‘Ndrangheta is believed to control up to 80 percent of Europe’s cocaine imports.
Source: Tristan Dessert, “In the footsteps of the ‘Ndrangheta, the most powerful branch of Italian mafia,” Franc 24, May17, 2013.
M67 grenades that were supplied to Central America during the cold war has ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Agents with the United States Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives (ATF) have traced grenades from the United States that were originally sent to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Between 1980 and 1993, around 260,000 M67 grenades were sent from the United States to El Salvador.
Many of these grenades are now being sold on the black market in Mexico. According to author Ioan Grillo, the grenades are being sold to the drug cartels for $100 to $500 per grenade.
Source: Ioan Grillo, El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency, Bloomsbury Press: New York, 2012, page 217.
Teenagers in the Mexican City of Ciuadad Juarez are paid about $85 (1,000 Mexican Pesos) by drug cartels to carry out assassinations and murders on their behalf.
There have also been reports of minors in Mexico being paid up to $1,000 for working two weeks for the cartels.
(See more contract killing prices.)
Source: Ioan Grillo, El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency, Bloomsbury Press: New York, 2012, page 165.