1. Cambodia $0.614 Billion ($614 Million)


  2. Black Market Crime in Cambodia


Cambodia Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Cambodia’s black market. Intelligence data and security information collected from government agencies, news reports and other public information sources.

Travel to Cambodia

Security forces in Cambodia arrested two Cambodia men for organizing a kidney selling ring in Thailand. The men ran an organ trafficking ring that sent 5 people to hospitals in Thailand with fake documents in order to have their kidneys removed.

According to police officials, the men sold the kidney’s for $10,000 (325,000 Thai Baht). To the human sellers who sold their kidneys, the men paid them between $3,000 to $5,000.

(See how much kidneys sell for in the organ trafficking market.)

Customers in Phomh Phen, Cambodia are able to buy fake car license plates from street vendors in the capital.

The price for a fake license costs between $4.50 to $10. A typical Royal Cambodian Armed Forces plate costs $6.50, and is available within the day.

On average, the vendor reports having between 5 to 10 customers each day, with heavy days seeing up to 30 customers. The most popular types of fake license plates are of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces or the police. Other types of plates available are non-government organizations, military police and even press plates assigned to the media.

The vendor pays Cambodian authorities $2.50 every day in bribes in order to allow his business to continue.

Many customers purchase the fake plates in order to avoid safety inspections and to avoid the lengthy and costly process of registering their vehicle or motorbike. A motorbike operator stated that if he went through legitimate channels, the cost to get his license plate would be $35 and would take 30 days. By buying the fake plate, he pays $5 and receives the plate in hours.

(Additional prices of fake identification documents.)

Source: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea, “Vendors with a licence to forge,” Phnom Phen Post, June 27, 2014.

A man from Myanmar told a reporter from the Associated Press that he was sold by a human trafficking broker to a Thailand fishing boat for $616. The man originally thought that he was going to work on the boat for 6 months, yet ended up working for over a year. During the time, the Burmese man stated that he slept for 3 hours a night.

The seafood industry in Thailand employees 2 million people and is constantly facing a labor shortage. Many Thais do not want to work on the fishing boats where the wages are low, the job is dangerous, and many boats are at sea for months and even years. To meet this shortage, an estimated 200,000 migrants from Cambodia and Myanmar are working on the boats. A 2013 survey of 600 workers conducted by the United Nations found that almost none had signed a labor contract and about 40 percent had their wages cut without explanation.

Nearly 6 out of 10 migrant workers on Thai fishing  boats reported seeing a co-worker killed by the captain, according to a 2009 UN report. The man who was sold by traffickers told the AP that after a sick man died on the boat the captain simply tossed the body overboard.

The fishing industry in Thailand exported nearly $7 Billion worth of seafood in 2013. Most of the seafood was exported to Japan and the United States.

Source:  Associated Press, “Thailand’s Rampant Trafficking May Carry Price,” ABC News, June 13, 2014.

According to anti-trafficking officials in Cambodia, a woman sold a 16 year old girl from Vietnam to a man for $2,500. The woman was selling the girl’s virginity to the man, who was to meet the girl at a hotel in Cambodia. The price was for the trafficking victim to be with the “rich man” for a total of 5 days.

(See more prices where human trafficking victims are bought and sold.)

Source:  Buth Reaksmey Kongkea, “Police raid terminates alleged virginity sale,” Phnom Penh Post, June 2, 2014.

According to media reports, security agents in Thailand killed at least 69 loggers from Cambodia in 2013 who were attempting to illegally cut down timber in Thailand.

The rate of violence between loggers and security and environmental protection officials in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar have increased in recent years due to the demand for luxury furniture in China. The Siamese rosewood, which is found in the Mekong area, is used to make high-end furniture in China. Between 2000 and 2014, an estimated $2.4 Billion worth of precious timber has been imported to China to meet the demand. The Siamese rosewood is sold for thousands of dollars per cubic meter, with illegal loggers able to make hundreds of dollars per day cutting down the trees.

(All illegal logging statistics.)

Source:  AFP, “China demand for luxury furniture ‘decimating rosewood’,” GlobalPost, May 12, 2014.

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.

The international Labor Organization released a report that stated that corruption in Cambodia causes $1.7 Billion in annual losses to the Cambodian economy, or about 10 percent of Cambodia’s GDP.

According to business and firms who answered a survey, the companies spend an average of 9 percent of their sales to pay bribes to officials.

Source:  Khouran Theara, “Report Calculates Major Drain of Corruption,” Voice of America, March 12, 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 facts about meth.)

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.

The Ministry of Interior in Cambodia reported that security services in the country investigated 93 cases of human trafficking in 2013. The number of human trafficking cases declined from 135 in 2012.

256 people were rescued from human trafficking activities, and 116 traffickers were prosecuted by the court system. In comparison, 523 victims were rescued and 168 people were prosecuted in 2012.

(More human trafficking statistics.)

Source:  Sen David, “Trafficking fight goes on: gov’t,” Phnom Penh Post, February 20, 2014.

A human trafficking ring was broken up by security services in Cambodia that was trafficking Cambodian women to China.

Three Cambodian women, aged between 19 to 21, were being sold as brides to Chinese men. Two individuals in the ring were being paid $1,500 to find women that could be sold. The main trafficker would then sell the women to men in China at prices between $5,000 to $10,000 per person.

(The price of humans when sold by traffickers.)

There has been a rise in the number of bride trafficking cases involving China. Due to its one child policy, the ration of men to women in China is currently 14 men to 1 women. This has led to many men being unable to find a wife, thus creating the human trafficking market for brides. It was previously reported that girls from Myanmar were sold to men in rural China for $700. Women from Vietnam have also been targeted as brides, with men in China paying $5,700.

(Under the table jobs earnings.)

Source:  Buth Reakksmey Kongkea, “Brides-to-be rescued from being ‘trafficked’,” Phnom Penh Post, December 16, 2013.