Environmental Threats

Statistics and information about criminal threats to the environment. Illegal logging, illegal fishing, smuggling and other environmental destruction committed by organized crime is collected from wildlife charities and public information sources.

The European Union estimates that up to 20 percent of all fishes caught around the world could have been caught illegally. In some areas, up to 40 percent of the catch is the result of illegal fishing.

(Additional information about unauthorized catches in oceans.)

Source: “US, EU to Increase Fight Against Illegal Fishing” Voice of America, September 26, 2011.

The Department of Energy estimates that between $684 Million to $1.36 Billion (30 to 60 Billion Philippine Pesos) are lost in government revenue each year due to illegal oil smuggling in the Philippines. Up to 30 to 35 percent of gasoline and diesel sold in the country was smuggled and avoided taxes and duties.

Source: Amy R. Remo, “DOE closing in on oil smugglers, says official,” Inquirer, September 26, 2011.

The national police stated in a report that up to 2.7 million tons of fuel is smuggled into Turkey each year, causing losses of $2.5 Billion in tax revenue.

Statistics from the government of Turkey shows that 70.5 million liters of smuggled fuel was seized in 2010.

Source: Thomas Seibert, “As economy booms, demand for black market fuel soars in Turkey,” National, September 23, 2011.

Officials with the Philippines Government reported that farmers who trap native parrots and sell them to wildlife traffickers make around $12 (500 Philippine Pesos) per bird. However, the traffickers who buy the birds and then resells it on the black market can make up to 5 times that amount on average.  There have also been reports of birds of prey in the country being sold for as much as $20,000.

Source: AFP, “Philippines eats, sells biodiversity riches,” Google News, September 22, 2011.

The banteng, a type of wild cattle native to Cambodia, has seen its population drop by 90 percent since the 1960s as poaching, traffickers and the lose of habitat has decreased the number of animals living in the wild.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, in 2011 there were between 2,700 and 5,700 banteng living in the wild in Northern Cambodia. Previous estimates placed the number of bantengs at 5,900 to 11,000.

A black market trade in wildlife with China and Vietnam are believed to have played a part in the decline.

Source: Associated Press, “Group: Wild cattle species endangered in Cambodia,” Google News, September 19, 2011.


Between July 20 and September 10, 2011, Customs officials in China investigated 243 cases of oil smuggling within the country that resulted in seizing nearly 300,000 metric tons of refined oil.

Source: Xinhua, “Chinese Customs Uncover 1,700 Metric Tons of Smuggled Oil,” Crienglish, September 19, 2011.

Between 2008 and 2009, wildlife authorities in Malaysia seized 1,519 dead owls within the country. Authorities believe that the owls were killed and trafficked to China for its meat.

Source: Natalie Heng, “Owls poached for exotic meat market,” The Star, September 13, 2011.

Illegal fishing in Romania causes an estimated 5,000 tons of fish to be caught in the Danube delta.

Source:  AFP, “Romania vows to fight illegal fishing in the Danube delta,” Google News, September 12, 2011.

An estimated $12.6 Million (9 Million Euros) a year in tax revenue is lost to the Serbian Government due to fuel smuggling.

Source: Tamara Spaić, “Serbia to lose EUR 9 millions each year because of fuel smuggling,” Blic, September 7, 2011.

Up to $1 Billion in potential revenue from the extraction of diamonds in Zimbabwe was reported to be missing as of 2011, according to the country’s Finance Minister and civic leaders.

Source: “ZANU stealing diamond money: NGOs,” Zimbabwean, September 3, 2011.