Transnational Crime

Information and statistics about transnational crime. Data about security threats and vulnerabilities from transnational organized crime groups are collected from intelligence agencies, criminal justice programs and other public information sources.

A sworn affidavit by a special agent with Homeland Security stated that gangs in Boston, Massachusetts are turning away from drug dealing and are increasing its activities in the human trafficking and prostitution markets due to its profitability.

Several experts interviewed by the Boston Herald stated that prostitution is currently the number one way for gangs to make money, surpassing drug trafficking and drug sales.

According to Homeland Security, gangs in the Boston area force girls to service clients as prostitutes and impose daily quotas of $200 to $1,000. These women who are forced to work as prostitutes are able to continually make money for the traffickers, as opposed to a one time sale for drugs.

(Latest human trafficking statistics.)

The rise in human trafficking and prostitution activities has increased in Massachusetts are the enforcement of prostitution offenses has declined. Back in 1995, there were 2,835 arrests across Massachusetts for prostitution related crimes. In 2012, the number of arrests had fallen to 944.

(See all prostitution statistics here.)

Source:  Bob McGovern, “Feds: Flesh funding gangs,” Boston Herald, May24, 2014.

According to statistics released by security agencies in Switzerland, there were 61 cases of human trafficking reported in the country in 2013. Most of the trafficking cases dealt with sexual exploitation.

The number of cases reported was lower than the 78 human trafficking cases reported in 2012. In 2012, statistics showed that people from Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Thailand were the main countries of origins for human trafficking in Switzerland.

Prostitution is legal in Switzerland, with an estimated 20,000 prostitutes working in the trade. 14,000 prostitutes are properly registered with the government.

The legal sex trade in Switzerland generates an estimated $3.5 Billion (3.2 Billion Swiss Francs).

(Prostitution revenue by country.)

Source:  Clare O’Dea, “Concerns raised about trafficking in sex industry,” Swissinfo, May 21, 2014.

Between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2005, there were 322 incidents of corruption found within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, according to an internal study conducted by the police agency.

In the 322 incidents, a total of 224 RCMP members were involved in the cases.

Most of the cases involved Mounties improperly giving out confidential details obtained from police databanks to family, friends and even criminals. The second most violations involved fraud cases, where officers misused government credit cards and expense reports.

(More crime in Canada statistics.)

Other types of cases included misuse use of police officer status, theft, and interference with the judicial process, which included activities such as ticket fixing, perjury and falsifying evidence.

(More examples of police corruption here.)

Source:  Canadian Press, “Corruption ‘can fester’ in Mountie ranks unless addressed, RCMP study says,” CTV News, May 18, 2014.

Security agents in Germany broke up a human smuggling ring that were bringing in people to Germany with the use of dead people’s passports.

According to the Associated Press, the ring were charging people from Syria and other countries up to $6,830 (€5,000) for passports of dead people. These passports would be used to gain entry into Germany. While raiding several buildings in Berlin, police found passports from Germany, Morocco, and Egypt.

(See more prices and information about fake passports and fake ids.)

Source:  Associated Press, “German funeral home sold passports of the dead,” Yahoo News May 15, 2014.

There are an estimated 3,200 prostitutes working in Denmark, according to estimates by security officials and researchers. Nearly half of the prostitutes are immigrants to the country.

(Number of prostitutes by country.)

Between 260,000 and 285,000 men in Denmark have admitted in surveys to have used the services of prostitutes. This corresponds to 15.5 percent of the population, or nearly one out of every six men in Denmark have paid for sex. According to surveys, the average man first visited a prostitute before he turns 25 years old. 30 percent of men have said they only visited a prostitute once, while 9 percent of paying customers say that they have visited prostitutes over 50 times.

85 percent of women who are working as prostitutes in Denmark state that they entered the sex industry due to financial and economic reasons. 18 percent said that they have been victims of physical violence from their customers at least once during the past year.

(See more prostitution statistics here.)

Source:  Ray Weaver, “One out of six Danish men have paid for sex,” Copenhagen Post, May 12, 2014.

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A Bedouin who lives in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt has resorted to growing opium for drug traffickers in order to make a living.

The man told the media that he previously provided camel tours to tourists. Before the uprising and revolution in Egypt in 2011, the man would see about 60 tourists each day. In the years following the revolution, the number of tourists have basically dropped to zero.

Many of the workers in the region turned to growing opium in order to make money. From 0 fields before 2011, there were around 100 fields reportedly in the area as of 2014. Each new growing season brought in more opium fields.

(More heroin facts.)

In the planting season of 2014, the man had about 5 kilos of raw opium that he was planning on selling to drug traffickers. According to the man, drug dealers pay him a little under $1,370 (€1,000) per kilo. After splitting the profit with his business partner and calculating expenses such as seeds, water and labor, the farmer’s total profit from his opium field is about $826 (€600). This amount is significantly less than what he made a a tour guide.

(More earnings from illegal jobs.)

Source:  Theresa Breuer, “Egypt’s Tourism Crash Gives Way To Bustling Opium Trade,” WorldCrunch, May 8, 2014.

Criminal justice reports from Thailand state that there were 386 human trafficking cases prosecuted in the court system in Thailand in 2013. 483 people faced human trafficking charges from the cases.

Back in 2010, Thai authorities brough 38 human trafficking cases to court and prosecuted 64 people.

(Additional human trafficking statistics here.)

Source:  Kavi Chongkittavorn, “Thailand as a regional haven for human trafficking,” Nation, May 12, 2014.

Between 2003 to 2006, child trafficking cases consisted of 20 percent of all human trafficking cases, according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Between 2007 to 2010, security officials detected that children were involved in 27 percent of all human trafficking cases. In Africa and the Middle East, the cases of trafficking involving children is around two-thirds of all cases.

According to an official with Unicef, there were 1.2 million known cases of child trafficking that takes place each year, and that for every 800 victims of human trafficking, one person is convicted for the crimes.

One factor that contributes to the problems of child trafficking is the lack of official identities for many children around the world. An estimated 230 million children worldwide are born without official birth certificates, making them impossible to track.

(Additional human trafficking facts and statistics.)

Source:  Rick Gladstone, “Real Threat in a Known Market for Children,” New York Times, May 7, 2014.

Public security officials in Vietnam arrested a human trafficker in April 2014 who was trafficking women from Vietnam into China. According to media reports, the human trafficker was being paid $470 (10 Million Vietnamese Dong) to bring women across the Chinese border.

The human trafficking of women from Vietnam into China has been growing in recent years. Between 2009 and 2013, security agencies in China rescued over 1,800 Vietnamese women and 41 Vietnamese children that were trafficked into China. Vietnamese security agents reported stopping over 3,000 potential human trafficking victims from crossing the border into China between 2003 and 2013. In 2012 alone, Vietnam authorities rescued 1,200 victims.

Experts attribute the rise in human trafficking between the two countries to the gender inbalance in China.

(More prices of humans for sale.)

Source:  “Human traffickers hunt Vietnamese poor ethnic women for China ,” Thanh Nien Daily, May 7, 2014.

A baggage screener working for the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles Airport was sentenced to six years in federal prison for taking bribes to let cocaine pass through the station.

According to court documents, the woman was paid at least $2,400 for each incident where she let a suitcase filled with cocaine to pass through the X-ray machine.

(Police corruption examples here.)

Source:  “Baggage screener at LAX gets nearly 6 years in prison for letting cocaine through,” Los Angeles Daily News, May 5, 2014.