News, statistics and facts about black market crime in Indonesia. Crime data, security threats and other illicit trade information is collected from criminal justice programs, research organizations and other information sources.

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.

Police in Indonesia broke up a prostitution ring that was operating on the social media site Facebook.

Jakarta police stated that the ring was offering prostitutes to customers through the use of a Facebook account. Undercover officers posed as a customer and arrested the women and driver who showed up at the hotel.

According to police, the ring charged the undercover officer $70 (800,000 Indonesian Rupiah) for the appointment at a hotel.

(More illegal prostitute prices worldwide.)

Source:  “Jakarta Police Bust Facebook Prostitution Ring,” Jakarta Globe, March 14, 2014.

In 2013, an estimated $6 Billion worth of coal was stolen from mines in Indonesia, according to industry sources.

In one mine operated by PT Bumi Resources, up to two million metric tons of coal is stolen by illegal miners and operators. At the prices of March 2014, the value of coal stolen from this mine would be about $150 Million per month.

The amount of coal being stolen  every three days in the province of South Kalimantan is enough to fill a vessel almost the size of the Chrysler Building in New York City.

Source:  Jesse Risborough, “Indonesia’s $6 Billion of Coal Mine Thefts Said to Widen,” Bloomberg, March 5, 2014.


A man from Pakistan was arrested in Indonesia while he was attempting to smuggling packs of heroin to Thailand. When arrested at the airport, the man had 767 capsules in his stomach that contained 966 grams of heroin.

(How much does heroin cost?)

According to criminal justice officials, the man reportedly stated that he was paid $15,000 to swallow the capsules and transport it from Indonesia to Thailand.

(More earnings from illegal jobs.)

Source:  “Drug smuggling ‘controlled from Thailand’,” Jakarta Post, March 7, 2014.

According to ProFauna, a wildlife charity, wildlife traffickers are offering wildlife for sale on websites catering to customers in Indonesia.

On the popular Indonesian forum site Kaskus, the NGO found at least 220 advertisements of wildlife for sale in the month of January 2014. Based on an analysis of the advertisements, researchers were able to identify at least 22 various types of rare wildlife and products. Among the wildlife animals available for purchase included sea turtles, elephant ivory, lemurs, tiger skins, cockatoo, and anteaters.

The lemur was being offered for sale for $16.80.

(More prices of exotic animals for sale.)

The traders who offer these animals come from various areas of the country.

Indonesia is not the only country where wildlife is available for sale. Previous reports mentioned that animals were being sold online to customers in Dubai and China.

Source:  Indra Harsaputra, “Govt told to block websites selling wildlife,” Jakarta Post, February 14, 2014.

According to statistics collected by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 2,360 migrants died while attempting to cross borders around the world in 2013.

For sea-based crossing by boats, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, and the waters surrounding Indonesia and Thailand saw a number of deaths of migrants attempting to cross borders.

For land-based traveling, the border between Mexico and the United States and the desert between West Africa and Libya were also considered to be dangerous routes for migrants.

The value of the black market in human smuggling was estimated to be worth $35 Billion a year industry, according to the IOM. This figure is higher than the previously $20 Billion estimate made in 2009.

Source:  “It’s Time to Take Action and Save Lives of Migrants Caught in Crisis,” International Organization for Migration, Press Release, December 17, 2013.

According to a survey conducted by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Indonesia, the Forest Ministry is viewed as being the most corrupt institution in the country.  The Commission found that illegal loggers buying logging permits through bribes were the most common form of corruption in the ministry.

Government data shows that 16 percent of logging permits that were issued by the ministry followed regulation and met all environmental requirements prior to being issued.

In addition to the forest ministry employees, workers from various criminal justice programs in Indonesia has also been found to have been participating in illegal logging. In May 2013, a police officer was arrested for running a $150 Million logging ring in the eastern Papua region.

As many as two million hectares of Indonesian forest is cut down and lost each year. The amount of forest lost is equivalent to 10,000 football fields per day.

Source:  “Indonesia struggles to clean up corrupt forestry sector,” Bangkok Post, January 1, 2014.

In a span of two months, 52 people died in Indonesia after consuming alcohol tainted with methanol. Security investigations have found that bar owners have been mixing and producing their own alcohol on the black market in order to increase their profits.

Investigators with criminal justice programs have found that some producing have been using industrial strength methanol to increase the potency of alcoholic drinks. 10 milliliters of methanol is enough create formic acid in a person’s body and cause blindness. 30 milliliters, or the same amount as one shot of liquor, can kill a person.

Source:  Daniel A Witt, “Tackling Indonesia’s black market alcohol problem,” Jakarta Post, Opinion, December 14, 2013.

Through mid November 2013, security agents at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Indonesia recorded 83 cases of drug smuggling. The number of cases was higher than the 39 cases reported in 2012 and the 52 cases reported in 2011 by criminal justice programs.

Among the way that smugglers were bringing in drugs into the country was by inserting heroin into curtain rings and mailing it via international courier air services.

Source:  “Drug smuggling at airport on the rise,” Jakarta Post, November 20, 2013.

In 2013, wildlife charities launched educational campaigns that aimed to lower the consumption of shark fin. Fisherman would cut the fins off of sharks in order to be used in soups that were served in high-end restaurants in Hong Kong and China. The results of the campaigns have been very successful, as many restaurants no longer serve shark fin soup.

Due to the lower demand for shark fin, fisherman who made their living in the Asia Pacific region have seen their income drop. According to media reports, fisherman who caught shark fins previously made several hundred dollars per month. In late 2013, as the demand for shark fin declines, the fisherman are now only earning between $37 to $46 per month (40 to 50 Australian Dollars).

In order to find new incomes, many of the fisherman are turning to human smuggling. Reports indicate that fisherman in Indonesia are using their boats to transports asylum seekers to Australia. A captain of  a human smuggling boat can earn up to $2,327 (2,500 AUD).  The crew members of the smuggling boat can earn between $930 to $1,396 (1,000 to 1,500 AUD).

(More prices and fees for human smugglers.)

Source:  Kate Evans, “Drop in shark fin prices lures people smugglers,” ABC Radio Australia, November 14, 2013.