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.

According to government estimates, the population of 17 million in Delhi requires 1.025 billion gallons of water a day. Due to limitations in water pipes and supply, there is a water shortage of 207 million gallons every day.

The shortages has led to a black market where private tankers to bring in water from neighboring areas and wells. In one neighborhood, the quoted price of bringing a water tank to a neighborhood was $23.71 (1,500 Indian Rupees) in the winter and $47.41 (3,000 Rupees) for the summer.

Another tank operator, who charges $47.41 (3,000 Rupees) for a 5,000 liter tanker, told the media that he pays $157 to $473 (10,000 to 30,000 Rupees) to police in bribes when he is stopped driving his tanker.

The Delhi government is only able to account for 37 percent of the water supply and does not know where the remaining 63 percent ends up. Security and financial officers estimate that black market water sellers in India could be making millions of dollars each year.

(Effects of corruption on governments worldwide.)

Source:  Sai Mahish, “Black Market for Water Expands in Delhi,” New York Times, India Ink, September 18, 2013.

An estimated 5 million dogs are slaughtered in Vietnam each year to be eaten. In order to meet the supply, dogs are routinely taken from pet owners in neighboring Thailand. Animal welfare groups state that most dogs that are trafficked into Vietnam have collars on them.

Due to the trade in illegal dog meat, Vietnam reportedly has one of Asia’s worst rabies problems.

A report by Time Magazine in 2013 stated that a stolen dog can be sold by traffickers for $155 to $214 (5,000 to 7,000 Thai Baht.) This price is higher than the previously reported price of $26 to $32 (800 to 1,000 Baht) reported by the Bangkok Post in 2012.

(More prices of animals and wildlife.)

Source:  Charlie Campbell, “Dog’s Dinner: Southeast Asian Nations Ban Illicit Canine Meat Trade,” Time, September 6, 2013.

Public health programs in Vietnam identified over 200 cases of toxic waste materials being smuggled into the country in the past several years. The waste was imported along with scrap metals that were to be used as raw materials in production factories and exported.

In total, officials identified 325 tonnes of waste, 3,1500 tonnes of plastic scrap, 10,000 tones of steel and 6,200 tonnes of used lead-acid batteries.

Source:  “Toxic waste continues to flood into Viet Nam,” Viet Nam Bridge, September 6, 2013.

In the first six months of 2013, police in Nepal seized 69 kilograms of gold. Most of the gold was smuggled into the country from Tibet, with the final destination of India.

In all of 2012, police seized 18 kilograms of gold in Nepal. Security agencies believe that only 10 percent of the gold smuggled into Nepal is confiscated.

The rise in gold smuggling is due to the high demand for gold in India and China, as well as an increase in duties for gold bullion.

Source:  AFP, “Nepal’s smugglers cash in on India’s love of gold,” Bangkok Post, September 4, 2013.

In the first eight months of 2013, a reported 190 elephants, 35 rhinos, and 2 forest rangers were killed in Kenya.

In 2012, a total of 29 rhinos were killed in the country.

Between 2009 and 2012, nearly 1,000 elephants have been killed in Kenya by poachers. The total elephant population in the country is between 35,000 to 40,000.

(Price of rhino horns and ivory on the black market.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Poachers kill rhino in Nairobi Nat’l Park, highlighting risk to Kenya’s wildlife,” Washington Post, August 13, 2013.


A Romanian Princess was arrested in the US State of Oregon for running an illegal cockfighting ring at her ranch. Along with her husband, a former Sheriff’s Deputy, the couple charged spectators admission and sold food and drinks at the matches, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors stated that the couple made up to $2,000 a day from the illegal cockfighting matches.

(More statistics on cockfighting and illegal betting.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Romanian princess alleged to be part of illegal US cockfighting ring,” Guardian, August 16, 2013.

Between 2000 and 2009, Malaysia imported 6,898 tonnes of shark fins, according to data released by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Between 2002 and 2011, fisherman  caught 231,212 tonnes of sharks in the waters surrounding Malaysia. The shark catch figures for the country represented 2.9 percent of global shark catches. During this time period, Indonesia and India were responsible for over 20 percent of the global shark catches worldwide.

(Prices of endangered animals for sale on the black market.)

Source:  Rashvinjeet S. Bedi, “Malaysia plays a big role in global trade of sharks, says wildlife network Traffic,” Star, August 16, 2013.

Between 2010 and August 2013, police in Colombia seized 29.7 tons of minerals from Tiger Hill, an illegal mine operated by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The mineral that is mined out of Tiger Hill is tungsten, which is used by global manufactures to produce liquid-crystal-display screens, smartphones and high-end car parts.  85 percent of the world’s supply comes from China.

In a report by Bloomberg Markets, a tungsten broker stated that he paid $3.14 (6,000 Colombian Pesos) to miners for the mineral. The miners reportedly were authorized by FARC soldiers to sell the minerals.

Source:  Michael Smith, “How Colombian FARC Terrorists Mining Tungsten Are Linked to Your BMW Sedan,” Bloomberg Markets, August 7, 2013.

Officials with the World Wildlife Fund stated that at least 19 Siberian Tigers were killed by poachers between 2012 and the first half of 2013 in Russia.

The body parts of a Siberian tiger can be sold for up to $50,000 on the black market in China.

(More prices of the illegal wildlife trade.)

Source: “Poachers Kill 19 Russian Tigers in 2012-13 – WWF,” RIA Novosti, July 31, 2013.

Due to oil theft activities, around 30,000 jobs have been lost in Nigeria between 2011 to 2013, according to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

The Finance Minister in Nigeria stated that up to 400,000 barrels of oil was being stolen per day in 2012.

Source:  Akinola Ajbande, “30,000 lose jobs to oil theft,” The Nation, August 5, 2013.