China Security Threats

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

According to reports from wildlife organization Save the Elephants, the price for raw ivory in China was $2,100 per kilogram.

Back in 2010, the price of the ivory was $750 per kilo.

Between 2010 and 2012, up to 33,000 elephants were poached and killed on average each year.

(See the price of elephants for sale on the global black market here.)

Source: AFP, “Smuggled elephant ivory price triples,” Yahoo News, July 3, 2014.

Two cases of illegal gambling syndicates in Asia highlight the amount of money being wagered on the 2014 World Cup.

Police in Macau broke up a ring that took in $645 Million during the opening matches. 22 people were arrested by police in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The syndicate was operating out of three hotel rooms in Macau where they took internet and phone bets from people around the world. One gambler allegedly placed a $5 Million bet with the syndicate.

In the same hotel, police broke up a different illegal gambling ring that took in up to $645,000 in bets in a single day during the World Cup.

Hong Kong police seized illegal betting slips that had around $10 Million in bets placed and arrested 39 people in the first two weeks of the tournament. Illegal sports betting in Hong Kong generates about $64.5 Billion each year in the territory.

Singapore security officials arrested 15 people in a illegal gambling ring that took in $640,000 in World Cup bets during the opening stages of the World Cup.

Over half of all illegal sports gambling takes place in Asia.

(See all illegal sports gambling statistics and figures here.)

Source: Sophie Brown, “Macau busts $645 million World Cup betting ring,” CNN, June 23, 2014.

 

Based on statistics released by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), there were at least 20,000 elephants killed world wide by poachers in 2013 for their ivory tusks. The number of elephants killed was slightly down from the 22,000 elephants killed in 2012 and the 25,000 poached in 2011.

At the end of 2013, there were an estimated 500,000 African elephants living in the world. 95 percent of the elephant population has been killed during the last 100 years.

The ivory is collected from elephants in Africa and sold in markets in Asia. According to Cites, there are 8 countries that are heavily involved in either buying, selling or providing illicit ivory. The countries are Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in Africa, and China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia.

The three African countries accounted for 80 percent of the major seizures in Africa in 2013.

Security forces stated that many of the gangs involved in wildlife trafficking are now using existing drug trafficking routes to smuggle the ivory.

(See more elephant poaching statistics here.)

Source:  Damian Carrington, “Fewer elephants killed in 2013, figures show,” Guardian, June 13, 2014.

Police in Vietnam broke up a human trafficking ring where women were being sold as brides to men in China. According to media reports, the men were paying $11,800 (250 Million Vietnamese Dong) for the women in 2014.

In June of 2013, Chinese men were caught paying $5,700 (120 Million Vietnamese Dong) for Vietnamese women to be their wives in China.

(More prices of human trafficking victims worldwide.)

Security experts in both countries state that the gender imbalance in China is leading to more women from neighboring countries to be trafficked. In 2013, there were 697.2 million males and 663.4 million females in China. With 33.8 million more men in the country, many men in rural areas are finding it difficult to find available women, leading to the black market in brides.

(See all human trafficking statistics here.)

Source:  Ngoc Ha, “6 arrested for trafficking Vietnam women to China,” Thanh Nien, June 6, 2014.

Security agencies in China confiscated 976,500 metric tons of illegal waste materials that was in the process of being smuggled, according to the Customs Department. The amount of waste material seized in 2013 was 150 percent higher than in 2012.

The illegal waste was intercepted over the course of 221 cases, a threefold increase from the number of cases in 2012.

The solid waste materials that were caught included both recyclable and non-recyclable materials, such as discarded steel and iron, coal slag, chemicals and electronic waste, building materials and medical waste.

Security officials stated that most of the waste was being imported into China from foreign countries such as the United States, Europe and Japan. The waste is smuggled into China through large shipping containers, which are not properly declared on customs forms.

Source:  Zhang Yan, “Solid waste smuggling sees threefold rise,” China Daily, May 27, 2014.

According to statistics released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). security agencies worldwide seized 36 tons of methamphetamine in 2012. Back in 2008, a total of 12 tons of meth was seized around the world.

(Cost of meth per gram.)

In 2012, nearly 45 percent of the worldwide total of meth seizures took place in China. In North America, Mexico account for around 60 percent of all seizures in the region in 2012.

Between 2007 and 2012, the seizure rate of ecstasy in the United States declined by 85 percent.

(See all meth facts.)

Source:  Amar Toor, “New legal highs are flooding the market faster than governments can ban them,” The Verge, May 20, 2014.

A 10 day crackdown against counterfeit drugs coordinated by Interpoal in May 11 to 21, 2014 lead to 8.4 million doses of fake drugs.

237 people were arrested worldwide and 10,603 websites that were selling counterfeit medicines were shut down.

Fake pills being sold to the public included diet pills ad controlled pharmacy pills such as diazepam, anabolic steroids and erectile dysfunction pills.

In the United Kingdom, security agents seized fake drugs worht $31.3 Million (£18.6 Million). 72 percent of the counterfeit drugs seized in Britain were made in India, followed by 11 percent from China.

(Additional counterfeit drugs statistics.)

Source:  Ben Hirschler, “Fake medicines worth 18.6 million pounds seized in global crackdown,” Reuters, May 22, 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.

A gaming analyst in Macau told the South China Morning Post that an estimated $90 Billion in gaming revenue in Macau was unreported in 2013. Officially, the gaming industry and casinos in Macau reported $45 Billion in revenue in 2013.

(Additional illegal gambling statistics.)

One of the main methods of avoiding currency controls is through the use of payment cards issued by UnionPay. These mobile cards are registered as domestic transactions and thus are not limited to caps on how much a person can gamble in Macau. The gamblers who use these cards are able to either wash more money or use the casinos to avoid paying taxes in China.

Previously, when gamblers in Macau would run out of funds, they would visit pawn shops in order to sell items to cover their gambling debts. Due to the use of mobile payment cards, the Macau General Chamber of Pawnbrokers stated that business revenue is down 40 percent as less gamblers need to sell items.

(See more money laundering examples and cases.)

Source:  Toh Han Shih and Niall Fraser, “Mainland crackdown on illegal use of payment cards in Macau casinos,” South China Morning Post, May 8, 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.