The Numbers

The numbers utilized by Havocscope are taken from various public documents, such as newspapers and government studies. Each figure is attributed to a source which allows our readers to follow up on. Our documentation methods is fully listed on the Research Methods page.

There are several key issues regarding the numbers that we collect, and we would like to take this time to fully disclose them.

  1. As the numbers are based on black market activities, the numbers will include a high level of uncertainty. A majority of the figures will be based on estimates and will be difficult to verify.
  2. Also, the figures listed in our database only represent numbers that are available and does not represent the full extent of the activity. The figures, especially for the country markets, should not be seen as a full representation of the market size, but rather as a snapshot of currently available information.
  3. The manner in which the original source determined the figure is not always available. Some publications explain the manner in which it determined its calculation, while others simply report a figure. The number may be estimated losses, or it may be the amount spent on the actual contraband product. Therefore the consistency in the figures and the standards of collection do not line up perfectly.

Havocscope actively attempts to minimize the inconsistency of the numbers and tries to utilize respectable sources. However, it must be said that due to the nature of the black market, we will never be able to fully state with absolute confidence that our database properly represents the global black market, nor are we attempting to do so. It would be dishonest and unethical to state that our numbers are 100 percent accurate. Instead, what we are attempting to do is to simply track the public information that is used by the media, NGOs, and policy makers.

As many have asked us, if the data compiled by Havocscope is at times questionable, why even create a ranking and market that deals with uncertain information and can never be proven correct? It is a very important question that lies at the heart of what we do, and we hope that we can properly justify our existence.

First, we wanted to create a simple, centralized location to access information of the black market. As easy as it is to find stock prices, weather conditions, and baseball statistics, we wanted to create a similar research tool for black market activities. By centralizing the information, we believe that it creates the foundation for further research and study. Interested parties can follow up on the original source and the discussion of the activities will hopefully be clearer and more precise.

Secondly, we hope our Rankings will serve as a much needed benchmark for the black markets.  Different organizations use different figures and it is our goal to offer a credible benchmark for all involved.  Only when stakeholders are all working off of the same information will the discussion be focused and progress made. In addition, by creating an industry wide benchmark, those tasked with addressing the black market activity may be held accountable for their actions.

Lastly, it is our ultimate goal here at Havocscope to inform the world on the extent of these markets. Although the figures are estimates at best, these figures do represent what the policy makers and law enforcement agencies are acting off of.  Regardless of whether the numbers in our database accurately reflect the financial value of the black market, real money is being spent on these activities. Tax revenues are being used to fund law enforcement, company profits are being diverted to enhance security procedures, and donations and grants are given to NGOs to tackle these activities. With the amount of money being spent in the black market, as well as the amount of money being spent to contain it,  it is essential for the world to be informed about the activities that are occurring.

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