In 2013, criminal justice officials in the United States estimated that between $19 Billion to $29 Billion is being smuggled down to Mexico from illegal drug sales in the United States. The sales and revenue from marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine is included in that total.

In terms of enforcement, the US Immigration ad Customs Enforcement seized $411 Million in cash that was being transported into Mexico.

The Former Governor of Sinaloa stated that up to 62 percent of the economy in Sinaloa was based on drug trafficking money.

Many of the drug cartels invest in legitimate businesses in order to launder their illicit proceeds. Cartels place investments into shopping centers, hotels, residential developments and various types of economic activities.

Source:  John Burnett, “At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes South,” NPR News, March 20, 2014.

In a report released by the Attorney General of the US State of California, researchers stated that organized crime groups were committing money laundering, cyber crimes, human trafficking, and drugs and arms trafficking through the border between San Diego and Mexico.

According to the report, approximately 70 percent of all the methamphetamine that is shipped to the United States passed through San Diego.

(How much does meth cost?)

Between 2010 and 2012, at least 1,300 people were identified by security officials as being trafficked through San Diego. An up to 250,000 weapons are smuggled across the border between the two countries each year.

(Cost of an AK-47 and guns on the black market.)

Source:  Roxana Popescu, “State focusing on cross-border trafficking and financial crime,” UT San Diego, March 18, 2014.

Through the use of our User Submitted Data Form, a reader of Havocscope submitted information about the illegal drug trade in Cambodia. According to the reader, the prices of drugs in Cambodia vary depending if the buyer is a local Cambodian or a tourist / foreigner. In addition, an expat who is closely connected to the drug trade will generally receive lower prices compared to a tourist or backpacker traveling through Cambodia.

The following prices for drugs were reported to Havocscope:

Methamphetamine:  The maximum retail price for a gram of methamphetamine in Cambodia is $100. As is common among black market sales, if the buyer does not have a scale, the dealer can short-change them and only provide .70 to .90 grams. In general, a customer can expect to pay between $80 to $90 per gram. Most buyers of meth in Cambodia pay $20 for a bag of meth. The buyers assume that .20 grams of meth is included in the bag, yet most dealers only offer .17 grams. Thus, a meth dealer is usually able to sell up to 6 bags of meth per gram, making up to $120 per gram in revenue.  (See more prices of meth worldwide.)

For meth dealers, an ounce of methamphetamine in Cambodia would cost them about $1,500 (for roughly 30 grams). The price to purchase a kilogram of meth is between $25,000 to $30,000. The sources for the kilo of meth include various producers, such as local meth producers, to Nigerian smugglers and the Vietnamese Mafia.

Yaba tablets are offered for $2.50 to $5 to a yaba delaer, with the price rising to $5 to $15 for a tourist or foreigner.

Heroin: According to the data submitted, the $5 rate of heroin as reported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is incorrect. In the streets of Cambodia, a gram of “China White” heroin sells for around $40 to $70 per gram, depending on the amount bought. Most heroin users in Cambodia pay $20 for a bag of heroin (same method as meth), thus allowing the heroin dealer to make up to $120 to $140 per gram.  (See all heroin prices worldwide.)

Ecstasy: An ecstasy tablet with roughly .10 grams of MDMA sells for $15 in Cambodia. Dealers are able to purchase ecstasy tablets for about $8. For a gram of MDMA, the cost in Cambodia is $100 retail, with $79 to $80 being paid by dealers. (See all ecstasy prices worldwide.)

Cocaine: Most of the cocaine for sale in Cambodia is “garbage,” according to the data. Many dealers attempt to pass of heroin as cocaine. If a dealer was able to find a legitimate source, then a gram of cocaine in Cambodia would cost about $75, with users paying between $100 to $200 per gram for cocaine.  (See world cocaine prices.)

LSD: $20 to $25 per hit.

Ketamine: It is legal for local Cambodians to buy ketamine at the pharmacy. However, the sale of the drug is banned to foreigners. Thus, vials from the pharmacy cost between $12 to $15 for a half gram. These vials are then sold to foreigners for $18 to $25.

Other Prescription Drugs: The pharmacies in Cambodia are barely monitored, thus many prescription pills in the West are available for over-the-counter purchases in Cambodia. For example, 30 pills of Valium (30 mg per pill) is available for $1, and codeine is widely available. However, stimulants such as Adderall are not imported and not available in Cambodia.

Source: User Submitted Data to Havocscope, received on March 13, 2014.

Statistics released by the Medical Examiner showed that 195 people died in 2013 from overdosing on heroin in the Cleveland metropolitan area of Ohio. The number of heroin deaths in 2013 was a record high. In 2012, the number of reported heroin deaths was 161. Back in 2007, the number of heroin deaths in the Cleveland area was 40.

(How much does heroin cost?)

The rise in heroin deaths in Cleveland follows the trend across the United States. In 2007, there were 373,000 heroin abusers across the country. By 2012, the number of people who were using heroin in the United States climbed to 669,000.

Along with the rise in users, the number of heroin overdose deaths increased by 45 percent between 2006 and 2010.

Source:  Alex Rogers, “Heroin Deaths Spike in Cleveland Area,” TIme, March 14, 2014.

The Government of Kyrgyzstan estimates that 10,000 people in the country inject illegal drugs. Roughly 10 percent of the drug abusers in Kyrgyzstan are women.

In 2013, security services closed 281 drug crime cases, compared to 213 in 2012. Law enforcement also seized nearly 5.2 tonnes of illegal drugs in 2012. Heroin seizures consisted of 12.6 kilograms of the illicit drugs seized.

(How much does heroin cost?)

Source:  Asker Sultanov, “Kyrgyzstan fights drug trafficking,” Central Asia Online, March 12, 2014.

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The average age of a crystal meth user in Germany is 20, according to a study commissioned by the Health Ministry. Most of the crystal meth abusers first tried the drug between the ages of 16 to 20.

Half of the people interviewed in the survey stated that they took crystal meth to deal with job stress or school stress.

Statistics from criminal justice departments across the country showed that 2,556 people were classified as new meth users in Germany in 2012. The number of new meth users was up by 51 percent from the previous year.

(How much does meth cost?)

Source:  “Children, 11, taking crystal meth,” The Local, March 12, 2014.

Security services in Mexico state that the organized crime group Knights Templar have made millions of dollars in the state of Michoacan by extorting local mines.

The group, which primarily makes its money from drug trafficking, forces local mine operators to pay between $4 to $7 per tonne of minerals that is extracted in the area. In 2013, the shipment of iron ore totaled 4 million tonnes, compared to the 1.5 million tonnes extracted in 2012.

Intelligence officials also report that the Knights Templar is trading iron ore with China in return for chemical precursors that are used to make synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine.

(How much does crystal meth cost?)

Source:  ” Why Mexican drug-traffickers started smuggling iron ore to China,” Economist, March 9 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 criminal justice officials, 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.

Government security agencies estimate that up to 15,000 hectares land across Jamaica is dedicated to the growing of marijuana.  The plant is grown in all 14 parishes of the country in areas that are hidden from the general public. Many of the grow operations take place in small plots scattered across mountain areas.

According to the US State Department’s 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Jamaica is the top Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States and other Caribbean countries.

(How much does marijuana cost?)

In 2013, security forces in Jamaica eradicated 247 hectares of marijuana fields, destroyed 1.9 million cannabis seedlings, and seized 285 kilograms of seeds. Back in 2012, 711 hectares were eradicated, 2.5 million seedlings were destroyed and 785 kilograms of seeds were destroyed.

Source:  “Jamaica largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the US, report says,” Jamaica Observer, March 4, 2014.

According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most people in the United States who are addicted to prescription drugs receive the drugs from doctors or friends and relatives for free and not from drug dealers.

Over 25 percent of people who abused painkillers daily said that they had received the pills from one or more physicians, a practice commonly called “doctor shopping.” Roughly the same amount of people reported that they received painkillers from their friends and family, and got the drugs for free.

15 percent of frequent prescription drug abusers stated that they bought the pills on the black market.

(Price of drugs and other items on the black market.)

Around 12 million people in the United States used a prescription opioid painkiller such as OxyContin or Vicodin each year.

Source: Lindsey Tanner, “Friends common source of abused prescription meds,” Associated Press, March 3, 2014.