An international human smuggling ring was broken up by Europol in November 2012 that was smuggling people from Iran in to various countries of the European Union. According to a press report, the human smuggling were charging migrants $$23,315 (€18,000) to be transported by car from Iran into Turkey and Greece, where the migrants would then move across the EU.
Source: “Iranian human smuggling ring busted in Europe,” Kuwait News Agency, November 27, 2012.
In the summer of 2011, the taxes owned to the Government of Greece totaled $58 Billion (45 Billion Euros).
As of October 2012, the government has collected just $24 Million (19 Million Euros) in tax revenue.
Source: Jannis Papadimitriou, “Greece fights eternal battle against tax evasion,” Deutsche Welle, October 25, 2012.
In 2010 and 2011, an estimated $4.4 Billion (3.5 Billion Euros) worth of smuggled cigarettes were sold in Greece, according to the Associated of Hellenic Tobacco Industries. The sale of black market cigarettes represented about 15 percent of the total cigarette market in Greece.
Previously, it was reported that the Government of Greece was losing $654 Million (500 Euros) in tax revenue due to cigarette smuggling.
Source: Anestis Dokas, “Smuggled cigarettes tak up 15 pct of market,” ekathimerini.com, September 2, 2012.
Between $6.2 Billion to $12.5 Billion (5 to 10 Billion Euros) is illegally lent to consumers in Greece each year. The loan shark industry quadrupled in size between 2009 and 2012, with some lenders charging customers annualized interest rates starting at 60 percent.
The Ministry of Finance in Greece stated that most of the illegal lending syndicates are connected to organized crime groups in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Source: Robert Saviano, “Where the Mob Keeps Its Money,” New York Times, August 25, 2012.
In a news report by the New York Times, a man in Greece was quoted as attempting to sell his kidney for $123,000 (100,000 Euros).
Across Europe, the article stated that many individuals were posting advertisements to sell their organs. for that they would sell their lungs for $312,650 (250,000 Euros).
(More prices of illegal organ transplants.)
Source: Dan Bilefsky, “European Crisis Bolsters Illegal Sales of Body Parts,” New York Times, June 1, 2012.
Around 90 percent of the illegal immigrants who are smuggled into the European Union enter by crossing the Maritsa (or Evros) river between Turkey and Greece. The migrants pay human smugglers up to $10,000 (7,950 Euros) to guide them into the EU. On heavily traveled days, up to 500 people illegally enter the EU a day through this route.
Worldwide, the black market in human smuggling is worth $2o Billion a year.
Source: Andres Ulrich, “At the Mercy of the People Smugglers,” Spiegal Online, May 24, 2012.
The Government of Greece loses up to $654 Million (500 Million Euros) to illegal tobacco smuggling activities each year as 170 million black market cigarette packs are sold within the country.
Source: Vangelis Mandravelis, “500 mln lost to cigarette smuggling,” ekathimerini.com, April 8, 2012.
Environmental officials in Greece filed 1,500 criminal complaints of illegal logging in 2011, double the amount of cases that was investigated in 2010.
Authorities attributed the rise in illegal logging in part to an increase in heating oil prices, which lead to people cutting down wood for fuel.
Source: AFP, “Greeks ‘fell trees for warmth’ amid economic chill,” Google News, January 25, 2012.
According to financial crimes investigators in Greece, up to 80 percent of all pawn shops and gold dealers in the country’s capital of Athens were involved in tax evasion activities.
Greece losses a total of $58 Billion a year to tax evasion, or 13 percent of the country’s GDP.
Source: Niki Kitsantonis, “In Greece’s Sour Economy, Some Shops Are Thriving,” New York Times, January 2, 2012.
Forest Authorities in Greece reported that illegal logging activities across the country accounts for up to 30 percent of all lost forestland that happens each year.
In the Foloi Forest in Western Greece, between 10 to 15 percent of the forest is lost each year due to illegal logging.
Between January and November 2011, authorities received over 100 reports and complaints about illegal logging, compared to 80 in 2010.
Source: “Illegal logging takes bite out of forests,” ekathimerini.com, November 22, 2011.