Cocaine Facts

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  1. Cocaine Market Value$85 Billion

News, information and statistics about cocaine abuse and the trafficking of cocaine. Data about cocaine is collected from criminal justice public health programs, drug treatment centers, security agencies and other public information sources.

Based on a scientific analysis of sewage waste water, the Belgian city of Antwerp had the most cocaine being discharged in Europe.

Belgium is the cheapest country in western Europe to buy cocaine, according to statistics released by the Global Drug Survey. Based on local intelligence, the cost to buy a gram of cocaine in Belgium is $68 (€50 ) per gram, roughly half the European average of cocaine.

(See the price of coke per gram around the world.)

Security and intelligence agencies report that around 25 percent of all cocaine being trafficked from South America into Europe passes through the ports of Belgium Most of the cocaine passes through the port at Antwerp, where 2 percent of the 8 million containers are screened by security officers.

The United States Department of State estimates that up to 20 tonnes of cocaine passes through the port each year, while other intelligence estimates place it at 30 tonnes.

In 2013, computer hackers were found to have been hacking the port’s IT systems in order to transport cocaine and avoiding searches.

(See all cocaine abuse and trafficking statistics.)

Source:  Jamie Doward, “Welcome to ‘boring’ Belgium where even the pigeons are on cocaine,” Guardian / Observer, May 31, 2014.

According to a 2014 report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), over 80 million people living in Europe are estimated to have used an illegal drug at some point in their lives. The number of people who have tried an illegal drug represents about a quarter of the adult population in the EU.

The most used illicit drug in Europe was marijuana, with 73.6 Million people stating that they tried it at least once in their lifetimes. In the most recent year measured (2012), the report stated that 18.1 million used marijuana. A total of 2,000 tonnes of marijuana and hashish is consumed in the EU each year.

The second most used drug in Europe was cocaine, with 14.1 million people using it in their lifetime. 3.1 million people used it in 2012. Based on analysis of raw sewage, investigators in Europe estimated that 1,800 pounds (832 Kilograms) of cocaine were consumed daily in Europe Cities.

The third most used drug in Europe was amphetamines, with 11.4 million users who used it in their lifetimes and 1.5 million users in 2012.

There were 31,000 new opioid users in Europe, with about 1.3 million problem users.

Heroin caused 6,100 overdose deaths in Europe in 2012, while cocaine overdose caused some 500 deaths.

Source:  AFP, “Prescription, synthetic drug abuse worry EU watchdog,” GlobalPost, May 27, 2014.

The self proclaimed top drug dealer on the online black market website Silk Road plead guilty in US federal court in May 2014.

Connelis Ja Slomp, aka “SuperTrips”, is a 23 year old man from the Netherlands made over $3 Million in revenue from selling drugs on Silk Road.

According to court documents, the man was equipped with only a laptop, iPhone and a backpack when conducting his international drug ring.  The man shipped 104 kilograms of MDMA, 566,000 ecstasy pills, four kilos of cocaine and other drugs through the mail to customers who bought his product on the website.

He was arrested when he came to the United States in order to party in South Beach. He had already rented a Lamborghini when he was arrested at the airport.

After being arrested, he forfeited $3,030,000 that he earned from drug proceeds that wee in bitcoins, which the United States Government converted to cash.

(See more profits and earnings from illegal jobs.)

Source:  Kim Janssen, “World’s most prolific online drug dealer pleads guilty in Chicago,” Chicago Sun Times, May 8, 2014.

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A baggage screener working for the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles Airport was sentenced to six years in federal prison for taking bribe money 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.

(More crime in the United States data.)

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

Security agencies in Costa Rica reported seizing about 4.8 metric tons of cocaine along the countries Pacific Coast during the first 4 months of 2014.

In all of 2013, security forces seized 18 metric tons of cocaine along the Pacific coast.

(Additional facts about cocaine.)

In addition to cocaine trafficking, the Public Security Ministry is also monitoring illegal fishing activities in the waters surrounding Costa Rica. Four vessels that was conducting unauthorized fishing activities were seized in the first quarter of 2013. A total of 9 ships were seized for illegal fishing in 2013.

(More crime in Costa Rica statistics.)

Source:  Mario Garita, “Radar helps combat drug trafficking, illegal fishing,” Inside Costa Rica, May 1, 2014.

Reports by criminal justice programs in Australia found that drug trafficking activities in the country were increasing and that the arrests and seizures for illegal drugs reached an all time high.

In the Fiscal Year of 2012-2013, security personnel in Australia arrested 101,749 people for drug crimes. During the course of their investigations, police made 86,918 seizures of illegal drugs during the past year, which was a 66 percent increase over the past decade.

Marijuana is the most seized drug in Australia.

The second most popular drug in Australia was methamphetamine, where police saw a 300 percent increase in seizures from the year before.

Cocaine and steroids also saw record high seizure rates in Australia last year.

Source: AFP, “Australia warns meth pandemic as drug busts hit record,” Bangkok Post, April 29, 2014.

According to a former heroin abuser in Ireland, the following information is the street prices of illegal drugs available for sale on the black market of Ireland.

Cocaine:  High quality cocaine sold for €100 ($138) per gram.

Ecstasy: €5 ($6.93) per tablet, or 10 ecstasy tablets for €40 ($55).

Heroin: A bag of heroin that is filled with 0.3 grams of heroin is sold for €20 ($27). The price to buy 2 grams of heroin is €100 ($138).

Marijuana: Poor quality cannabis resin is reportedly sold in 7 gram batches, which is available for purchase for €25 ($34). Marijuana weed is sold in 6 gram units, which goes for €100 ($138).

Prescription drugs: 2 milligrams Xanax bars sold for €3.50 ($4.85) for each tablet.

(See all of crowdsourced data about the black market here.)

Source:  User submitted data, received on April 1, 2014.

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.

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.

According to data released by criminal justice programs, India is a main supplier of illegal narcotics to countries in South Asia.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) reported that drugs and ingredients from India’s pharmaceutical industry is diverted to the black market. The illicit pharmaceutical pills are either trafficked domestically or smuggled on to the global black market.

In addition to prescription drugs, India provides most of the heroin that is consumed in Bangladesh. Most of the cannabis that is consumed in Bangladesh and Nepal is also produced in India and smuggled across the border.

Most of the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine uses to make meth in Myanmar is believed to have originated from India as well.

The rate of opium seizures in India has grown in the last three years. In 2009, government security agencies seized about 1.7 tonnes of opium in India. In 2012, over 3 tonnes of opium was seized.

14 kilograms of cocaine was seized in India in 2011. In 2012, the amount of cocaine seized tripled to 42 kilograms.

(All prescription drug abuse statistics.)

Source:  “Prescription drug abuse growing in India: UN report,” Indian Express, March 5, 2014.