Cost to Smuggle a Cuban Baseball Player to the United States

in Transnational Crime

Based on previous intelligence and reports, the average price that a person from Cuba pays to human smugglers to be transported across the Florida Straits to the United States is $10,000.

A United States Federal Security Agent testified that when the person being smuggled out of Cuba is a potential Major League Baseball Player, then the smuggling fee can be up to 25 times higher, or $250,000.  In addition to these fee that must be paid to the smugglers, the baseball player and his family must agree to give up to 20 percent of the initial contract that is signed with a professional baseball team.

According to the Los Angeles Times, there are some current major league players from Cuba who are currently making payments to the smugglers while their families back home are threatened with violence is payment is not received.

Source:  Kevin Baxter and Brian Bennett, “In booming marketplace for Cuban players, Puig’s tale far from unique,” Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2014.

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