Between 1982 to 2012, an estimated 80 million cubic meters of wood was illegally logged in Romania, according to the Minister Delegate for Water and Forests. The illegal logging activities caused $6.8 Million (€5 Billion) in damage.

From 2007 to 2012, the rate of the illegal logging in Romania doubled, with illegal logging now occurring at twice the rate of reforestation and regeneration.

The legal timber industry in Romania is worth $5.5 Billion (€4 Billion).

Source:  AFP, “Massive logging leaves deep scars in Eastern Europe,” Google News, February 23, 2014.

Paleontologists have reported that there is an active black market where traffickers provide customers dinosaur fossils for sale. The customers, who are usually in the high-income bracket, purchase dinosaur fossils as a collectable items or as artwork.

In certain countries where dinosaur fossils are known to be buried, the buying and selling of the remains is illegal. However, in certain countries, such as the United States allows for a commercial market in fossils. Yet, in the United States, it is illegal to take dinosaur fossils from public lands and then sell them to the public.

In a case from 2012, an American man pleaded guilty for smuggling fossils from Mongolia. The man was attempting to sell a 70 million year old Tyrannosaurus Bataar. The dinosaur’s fossils were valued at $15,000, but was set to be sold for $1 Million at an auction before US officials shut down the sale and returned the fossils to Mongolia.

The illegal dinosaur fossil seller also sold a Sauroplus angustirostris skeleton for $75,000.

Experts believe that the black market in dinosaur fossils took off after the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was sold to a Chicago museum at a 1997 auction for $8.26 Million.

(More prices of wildlife and animals for sale on the black market.)

Source:  Erik Ortiz, “Fossil Theft Raises Concerns About Bustling Black Market,” NBC News, February 21, 2014.

Over 42,000 marine turtles are estimated to be legally caught each year around the world. Nearly three quarters of those turtles are caught in the waters of Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, and Australia, according to a study conducted by wildlife charity Blue Ventures Conservations and the Univetsity of Exeter.

80 percent of the turtles that are caught each year are green turtles.

Between the 1980s and 2014, over 2 million turtles are estimated to have been caught worldwide.

In Mexico, between 2000 and 2014, an estimated 65,000 turtles have been illegally caught and fished in the waters surrounding the country.

(Price of exotic pets for sale.)

Source:  Allison Winter, “Report Finds 42,000 Turtles Harvested Each Year by Legal Fisheries,” Environmental News Network, February 21, 2014.

According to international experts, $250 Million worth of timber is illegally logged in Mozambique each year. The amount of timber that is illegally cut down in the country accounts for nearly two-thirds of all logging activities in Mozambique.

Between 2000 and 2012, over two million hectares of forest has been cut down in Mozambique.

(More illegal logging statistics.)

Source:  “Illegal logging surges in Mozambique,”, February 25, 2014.

In an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, a team of oil thieves stated that they are able to make up to $6,098 (1 Million Nigerian Naira) a day from stealing oil from pipelines.

The thieves steal oil from pipeline managed and operated by multinational oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell. The oil thieves cut through the pipelines with saws and siphon the oil into barrerls. The oil is then brought to illegal refiners located across Nigeria.

The refining process at these illegal refiners takes about six hours. The crude oil is boiled in a drum, cooled by water, and then stored in another container. The oil is then filtered into gasoline, kerosene and diesel. Any left over unfiltered oil is simply tossed into the water.

An average sized illegal refinery in the Nigerian Delta can make over $1 Million a month refining stolen oil.

Source:  Alexis Okeowo, “Oil Thieves of the Niger Delta,” Bloomberg Businessweek, February 20, 2014.


According to data released by Mexican state owned oil company Pemex, 2,614 illegal fuel siphons were discovered on their pipes in 2013. The theft from their pipes lead to losses of gasoline, oil, natural gas and petrochemicals.

Back in 2000, the oil company discovered 155 illegal fuel siphons, which means that the rate of fuel theft at Pemex has increased by 1,548 percent in 13 years.

Based on the number of siphons, an attempt to steal oil and fuel from the pipelines took place at a rate of every 14 hours in 2013.

In the border state of Tamaulipas, there were 8 illegal siphons in 2000. In 2013, the company discovered 539 siphons.

In the sate of Veracruz, there were 25 siphons in 2000 and 240 in 2013.

In the state of Jalisco, the siphons increased from 7 in 2000 to 230 in 2013.

In the state of Guanajuato, the siphons went from 13 in 2000 to 165 in 2013.

And in Nuevo Leon, fuel siphons from pipelines went form 1 in 2000 to 140 in 2013.

Security analysts and oil industry officials state that areas where drug trafficking cartels are active see more fuel siphons.

Source:  “Major Increase Of Illegal Oil Siphoning In Mexico Leads To Losses In The Millions,” Fox News Latino, February 5, 2014.

An estimated 8,125 pangolins were confiscated by wildlife officials in 49 incidents that took place across 13 countries.

Using an estimate that seizures represent 10 to 20 percent of the total wildlife trafficking market, media reports state that up to 40,625 to 81,250 pangolins were possibly killed in 2013.

Pangolin is an wildlife animal in high demand across Southeast Asia. To buy a pangolin on the black market across Asia costs about $1,000.

(More illegal exotic animals for sale.)

Source:  Rhishja Cota-Larson, “Pangolins Roll into the Wildlife Trafficking Spotlight,” National Geographic, News Watch, February 18, 2014.

An article by the Daily Express in the UK reported on the black market trade in valuable and rare orchids, and the prices that buyers purchase these flowers.

A rare Lady’s Slipper orchid, which is so rare that it is given police protection, was found on a golf course in the North of England. The flower was once thought to be extinct. It has been difficult to reintroduce the flower in other areas, creating a high demand for the flower. The flower reportedly can be bought for $8,358 (£5,000) each.

The Gold of Inabalu orchid can only be found in Malaysia, is sold for $5,850 (£3,500).

Peruvian orchids, which were discovered in 2001, were found to have be available for sale in the United States for $11,701 (£3,500).

The plant and flower trade is increasing in popularity around the world, leading to an increase in illegal cutting of flowers and other thefts. In the United Kingdom, theft from private gardens increased by 20 percent between 2008 and 2013.

(Prices of exotic animals for sale.)

There are 36,000 endangered plants and species around the world. Nearly 30,000 are from the orchid family.

The legal plant trade generates about $15 Billion (£9 Billion) a year.

Source:  Adrian Lee, “The black market for green fingers: Illegal trade in rare plants reaches startling scale,” Daily Express, February 18, 2014.

Illegal logging activities was the top economic related crime in Laos in 2013, according to media reports.

Out of a total of 559 fraud or economic related crimes reported in Laos, 257 cases were related to illegal logging, or 46 percent of all cases.

During the investigations, security services seized 671,000 cubic meters of processed wood, 4.5 million cubic meters of logs, 15 chainsaws, 20 vehicles and 3 motorbikes. A total of $550,000 in cash was also recovered.

Laos has 24 protected national forests across the country.

Source:  “Illegal Logging Tops Economic Crime In Laos Last Year,” Bernama, February 18, 2014.

According to ProFauna, a wildlife charity, wildlife traffickers are offering wildlife for sale on websites catering to customers in Indonesia.

On the popular Indonesian forum site Kaskus, the NGO found at least 220 advertisements of wildlife for sale in the month of January 2014. Based on an analysis of the advertisements, researchers were able to identify at least 22 various types of rare wildlife and products. Among the wildlife animals available for purchase included sea turtles, elephant ivory, lemurs, tiger skins, cockatoo, and anteaters.

The lemur was being offered for sale for $16.80.

(More prices of exotic animals for sale.)

The traders who offer these animals come from various areas of the country.

Indonesia is not the only country where wildlife is available for sale. Previous reports mentioned that animals were being sold online to customers in Dubai and China.

Source:  Indra Harsaputra, “Govt told to block websites selling wildlife,” Jakarta Post, February 14, 2014.