According to wildlife conservation groups, up to $1 Billion worth of illegally grown python skins are being imported into Europe each year. The black market trade in python skins helping to meet the demand for python skin handbags sold by Gucci and other luxury brands.
The legal market for python skins has grown from $137 Million (€100 Million) in 2005 to $1 Billion in 2014.
Although there are commercial farms growing python skins in Asia, industry officials believe that most of the skins being exported from Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia could have been collected from the black market.
(More exotic animals for sale prices.)
Source: Sarah Butler, “Illegal python skins feed hunger for fashionable handbags and shoes,” Guardian, March 31, 2014.
Police in France broke up a black market smuggling ring that was providing frog legs to Chefs across France.
The three men were found with nearly 1,100 illegally grown frogs for the purpose of cutting of their legs to sell to restaurants. Criminal justice officials state that the amount of frog legs that the men had would have been worth $666 (£400) on the black market.
According to food industry sources, a dozen pairs of frogs legs are sold for $11 (£7) to French Chefs. Up to 100 million pairs of frog legs are eaten every year.
(More prices of exotic wildlife for sale on the black market.)
Source: Emma Glanfield, “Poaching gang caught slicing off frogs’ legs and selling them to French chefs on the black market,” Daily Mail, March 27, 2014.
According to criminal justice programs and wildlife charities, a kilogram of ivory poached from elephants is available for sale in Asia at prices of $850 (€650). In 2011, over $31 Million worth of ivory tusks was smuggled from Eastern Africa to Asia, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
A large portion of the poaching of elephants and rhinos take place in Kenya. Security services in the region state that organized groups of poachers use night vision goggle, automatic weapons and chainsaws to kill rhinos and elephants and to quickly remove the horns and tusks.
Intelligence by wildlife charities and advocates state that the poaching in Kenya is done by a core group of 20 to 30 people.
(More statistics on elephant poaching.)
(More statistics on rhino poaching.)
Source: AFP, “Counting the cost of East Africa’s poaching economy,” Google News, March 24,2014.
A report released by China’s Public Security Bureau for Forests and the University of Oxford found that the average price for a kilogram of pangolin scales is available for sale for $600. The price of a kilo of pangolin scales for sale in 2013 was twice the amount that a kilogram of scales were sold for in 2008.
According to the report, 2.59 tonnes of scales were seized in China between 2010 and 2013. The scales represented approximately 4,870 pangolins that were killed in order to produce those scales. In addition to the scales, 259 intact pangolin were seized during the time period.
One method of pangolin smuggling highlighted by the report was through the use of China’s postal system. In one case discovered in November 2013, security services discovered 5 packages of pangolin scales weighing 70 kilos each were being sent through the postal system. It was later discovered that up to one tonne of scales, representing 1,660 pangolins, were shipped through China’s postal system by wildlife smugglers.
The pangolin is in high demand across Asia due to its use as a traditional medicine. According to the BBC, consumers roast the pangolin scales and then eat the scales with the belief that its helps detoxify the body and stimulate lactation.
Across Asia, a full pangolin for sale is available on the black market for $1,000.
(See more prices of exotic animals for sale.)
Source: Ella Davies, “‘Shocking’ scale of pangolin smuggling revealed,” BBC Nature News, March 14, 2014.
Oil company Royal Dutch Shell reported that its earnings for 2013 was almost $1 Billion lower due to oil theft and other acts of sabotage that occurs in Nigeria.
Shell’s Chief Financial Officer stated that nearly $1 Billion worth of oil is stolen from the oil industry each month across Nigeria. In 2011, the Nigerian government lost an estimated $7 Billion in tax revenue due to oil theft. The amount of tax revenue lost was roughly equal to 25 percent of the Nigeria’s national budget for 2013.
Source: Eduard Gismatullin, “Seplat Sees No Oil Theft in Nigeria, Where Shell Lost $1 Billion,” Bloomberg Businessweek, March 14, 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.
Criminal justice 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.