The Myanmar Timber Merchants Association reports that its members lose up to $200 Million per year in revenue due to illegal logging activities.
The timber is illegally cut down and exported to China.
According to environmental security officials, the areas were illegally logging are highly active is in the Kachina and Shan states that are located near the Myanmar-China border.
Source: “Millions lost in illegal timber trade with China,” Eleven Myanmar, December 4, 2013.
According to figures released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 227 million methamphetamine pills were seized across East and Southeast Asia in 2012. The number of pills seized was a 59 percent increase from the 142 million seized in 2011.
Back in 2007, security services seized 25 million pills across East and Southeast Asia.
102.2 million meth pills in 2012 were seized in China, followed by Thailand with 95.3 million meth pills seized, and Myanmar had 18.2 million pills seized.
(Price of Meth by country.)
Source: Associated Press, “UN Says Asia Meth Seizures Hit Highs in 2012,” ABC News, November 8, 2013.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports that China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) consume 70 percent of all the heroin that is used in the East Asia and Pacific Region.
Up to 65 tonnes of heroin is used by addicts in China each year. In order to meet the demand, 90 percent of all heroin that is produced in the Golden Triangle (Laos, Myanmar and Thailand) is trafficked to China. Laos has also begun increasing its opium production, with an increase of 66 percent of opium farming taking place in the country in 2011.
Security agencies and health officials in China has officially registered 1.2 million heroin addicts in the country.
(Price of heroin by country.)
Source: David Elmer, “It’s happy hour for the heroin traffickers of the Golden Triangle,” South China Morning Post, September 26, 2013.
Between January and September 2013, security agencies in Myanmar reported that 200 to 400 people in the country fell victim to human trafficking. Most of the victims were women and children. Police were actively investigating up to 200 cases of human trafficking in September 2013.
Security officials claim that demands for brides in China are a major contributor to human trafficking of women in Myanmar. When a Chinese man marries a Chinese woman, the dowries can be nearly $1 Million. Young women from Myanmar can be bought from traffickers for as little as $700, with “high quality” brides being purchased for $7,300.
(More human trafficker prices.)
Source: “Bride trafficking to China on the rise,” Eleven Myanmar, September 18, 2013.
People smugglers operating in Australia were charging asylum seekers up to $10,000 to be smuggled into Australia, according to security agencies.
In 2012, police identified 278 boats that was carrying asylum seekers and operated by people smugglers. In the first six months of 2013, nearly 196 boats were identified by police.
Intelligence and security officials report that most of the people paying smugglers to be brought into Australia originate from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
(Additional prices charged by human smugglers.)
Source: “Arrests over people-smuggling in Australia,” Al Jazeera, August 29, 2013.
Between April 2011 and June 2013, environmental authorities seized over 69,600 tons of logs that were illegally logged, according to the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry.
Large portions of the illegally logged timber in Myanmar is transported to China.
Source: “Myanmar’s authorities seize nearly 70K tons of illegal logs: ministry,” Eleven Myanmar, July 20, 2013.
An estimated 1.4 billion methamphetamine tablets, known as Yaba in the region, are produced each year in the Golden Triangle region consisting of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand.
The street value of the tablets are estimated to be worth $8.5 Billion a year.
In Thailand, there are an estimated 600,000 yaba users in the country.
(Crystal Meth price around the world.)
Source: AFP, “Thailand Fights Drug Gangs In Golden Triangle With Help From China,” Huffington Post, July 18, 2013.
A human smuggler in Thailand can make a profit of $320 (10,000 Thai Baht) for each Myanmar adult that is smuggled into Thailand. The profit is based after the costs that the smuggler must pay, such as bribes and costs associated with operating their boat.
The costs of the bribes to security forces are as follows:
Thai navy boats usually earn about $65 (2,000 baht) for allowing a smuggling boat to pass through without action, and police in Thailand collect $160 (5,000 baht) for each migrant, or $6,100 (500,000 baht) for a boat filled with 100 migrants.
(Additional bribes paid around the world.)
Source: Padang Besar, “Thai authorities implicated in Rohingya Muslim smuggling network,” Reuters, July 17, 2013.
There are between 100 to 200 black market currency dealers in Myanmar who make a living exchanging US dollars to Myanmar Kyats.
In 2013, international credit card companies entered the Myanmar market and began installing ATM machines, threatening the currency brokers. As of July 2013, Visa had over 150 ATMs in Myanmar and MasterCard has over 140 ATMs.
Source: Simon Roughneen, “From Black Market to Stock Market: Changing Times for Money Changers and Tourists in Rangoon,” Irrawaddy, July 5, 2013.