Security and intelligence officials in Russia estimate that over $700 Million worth of crab is illegally fished and poached from its waters each year. Most of the boats that poach crab from Russian waters are registered in Cambodia or Sierra Leone with its crew being from Russia. Most of the illegally caught crab is transported to Japan and South Korea.
Fishermen in Alaska also report losing sales due to illegal fishing of crab. The trade group in the state reports that at least $560 Million was lost over the past decade due to illegal crab poachers undercutting their prices.
Source: Stephanie May Joyce, “Searching for the Russian Crab Mafia,” Bloomberg Businessweek, June 19, 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.
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.
Data released by the National Police Agency in Japan stated that 10,909 people were arrested in the country for various drug offenses in 2013.
Of the total who were arrested, 2,206 people, or 20 percent, were people over the age of 50. According to security officials, the number of older suspects who are arrested for drug crimes in Japan has risen in the last several years.
(See more crime in Japan statistics.)
Source: Kenji Ogata and Roppei Tsuda, “Crime boss: Several buyers of illegal drugs are in showbiz,” Asahi Shimbun, May 19, 2014.
Media reports from Japan state that a woman working at a hostess club in the high-end entertainment city of Ginza, Japan, can make over $19,500 (2 Million Japanese Yen) a month. A top hostess who is able to bring in numerous high- spending customers is able to earn up to $97,000 (10 Million Yen) a month in bonuses.
There are about 2,000 bars and clubs in the Ginza district.
Many of the companies that operate hostess bars in Japan have been accused by security officials of tax evasion activities. Financial authorities in April 2014 brought charges to 5 clubs that were accused of not paying $1.7 Million (175 Million Yen) in income tax.
(Earnings of various jobs on the black market.)
Source: Yomimuri Shimbun, “Ginza club ‘mama’ suspected of ¥175 mil. tax evasion,” Japan News, April 25, 2014.
The Japan Book Publishers Association and other publishing sources reported that online piracy of popular Japanese comic books are causing sales to drop.
Popular manga series such as Naruto and One Piece are quickly posted at online websites. There have also been incidents where the manga is pirated and posted online before it was released in stores. In an investigation conducted by Japanese media, over 700 installments of the One Piece series was available for free online.
Sales of comics books in Japan dropped from $4.3 Billion (450 Billion Japanese Yen) to $2.9 Billion (300 Billion Yen) between the years of 2007 and 2011.
Source: “Manga pirated, put online,” Japan News, April 19, 2014.
An illegal casino operating in Japan was broken up by police in March 2014 that made an estimated $1,969,400 (200 Million Yen) in earnings over a 17 month period.
According to media reports, investigators discovered a rental contract between the illegal casino and the Embassy of Ghana in Japan. The casino was to pay the Ghana embassy $4,923.50 (500,000 Yen) in rent each month for being allowed to operate on property that belonged to the Ghanian Embassy.
Japanese nationals who were arrested in the raid stated that they thought that diplomatic immunity applied to them because the activities were taking place on property owned by the Ghana Embassy.
(Additional info about underground casinos and gambling dens.)
Source: Raphael Ofori-Adeniran, “Japan accuses Ghana of flouting gambling law,” SpyGhana, March 20, 2014.
The National Police Agency in Japan reported that the number of members in Japanese organized crime groups totaled 58,600 in 2013. The number of Yakuza members in 2013 was lower than the 63,200 reported in 2012.
This is the first time on record that the number of Yakuza members across the country was below 60,000.
Security experts in Japan state that there are various reasons for the decline in membership. Police have recently introduced tougher enforcement against the Yakuza, as well as a poor public image and a slowing Japanese economy has made the life of a gangster much more difficult in the country.
The largest Yakuza group in Japan is still the Yamaguchi-gumi. The group had a total of 25,700 members in 2013, a decline of 2,000 members from the year before. The second largest gang, the Sumiyoski-kai, had 9,500 gangsters on its roll, a decline of 1,100 from the previous year.
Source: AFP, “Membership of Japan’s yakuza crime gangs falls to all-time low,” Guardian, March 6, 2014.
In 2013, criminal justice agencies at Narita International Airport in Japan seized 270 kilograms of illegal drugs. The amount of drugs seized was the highest amount recorded since the airport opened in 1978.
The illegal drugs were seized in 82 cases of drug smuggling. In 12 of the cases, the drugs were being smuggled into Japan from flights originating from India. Following India, the next country of origin was China, where 9 people were arrested with narcotics, followed by Hong Kong with 5 people being arrested.
The amount of illegal drugs seized at Narita Airport in 2013 had a street value of $184 Million (18.8 Billion Japanese Yen).
(How much does cocaine cost?)
Source: Julian Ryall, “Japanese drug smugglers use online shoppers as mules,” South China Morning Post, March 1, 2014.
The Polaris Project, an non-governmental organization, estimates that there are up to 54,000 human trafficking victims that are bought and sold in Japan each year.
In an article with the Bangkok Post, the report highlighted cases where women from the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea were trafficked to Japan in order to work in the prostitution industry.
In addition to women from foreign countries, girls and women from Japan are trafficked within the country. The Polaris Project states that domestic violence victims, single mothers and other women facing financial struggles are targeted. It was previously reported that minors were having sex with men for $100.
(More prices of human trafficking victims.)
Source: “Activists demand action against human trafficking in Japan,” Bangkok Post, December 25, 2013.