Transnational Crime

Information and statistics about transnational crime. Data about security threats and vulnerabilities from transnational organized crime groups are collected from intelligence agencies, criminal justice programs and other public information sources.

A Guatemalan human smuggling ring was charging people between $1,200 to $3,700 to smuggle them into the United States. The organization was smuggling up to 100 humans to Los Angeles each week.

Source: “Vast immigrant smuggling ring smashed in L.A.,” Reuters,February 28, 2008.

A reported by ABC News stated that dead Chinese bodies, which may have included executed prisoners, were sold for $200 to $300 on the black market.

(Prices of organs and kidneys on the black market.)

(See all organ trafficking statistics.)

Source: Brian Ross, “N.Y., China Investigating Black Market in Bodies,” ABC News, February 15, 2008.


A Turkish human smuggling gang was charging Chinese nationals $41,800 to be smuggled across Asia and Europe and into Britain. The journey would take up to 18 months.

Source:  AFP, “Police smash Turkish people-smuggling ring,” Google News, January 31, 2008.

According to the Department of Health in the Philippines, the average cost of a kidney purchased on the black market was $3,600 (150,000 Philippine Pesos), with the donor of the kidney getting a third of that price and the brokers receiving two-thirds of the amount.

(More organ trafficking statistics.)

Source:  “Philippine bishops urge halt to organ trafficking,” Reuters, January 28, 2008.

Two men sentenced in Israel for trafficking humans for the sole purpose of harvesting their organs were illegally selling them at prices between $125,000 to $135,000 in 2007.

Source: Fadi Eyadat, “Two Haifa men sentenced to jail for organ trafficking,”, December 18, 2007.


Around 1.5 Million illegal immigrants are living in Malaysia.

Those who are arrested are taken to the border of Thailand where they pay human smugglers $450 to be taken back into Malaysia.

Source: Seth Mydans, “Foreign workers face campaign of brutality in Malaysia,” New York Times, December 7, 2007.

In 2007, the Italian Mafia was estimated to have a turnover of over $120 Billion.

7 percent of Italy’s economic output was filtered off by organized crime.

Source:  David Wiley, “Italian Mafia turnover ‘$120bn’,” BBC News, October 27, 2007.

Voice of America News has an article highlighting the black market trade in adoptions that is currently taking place in Guatemala.

Every year, thousands of people from the United States visit the Central American nation of Guatemala, not just for tourism, but to adopt babies. Last year, more than 4,000 Guatemalan children were adopted by US citizens. But critics say the demand for young Guatemalan children has created an illicit market in which babies are bought and sold and, in some cases, even stolen from their birth mothers.

Prospective parents from the United States are known to pay tens of thousands of dollars to be able to adopt a baby from Guatemala.

Acquiring a baby here usually costs around $30,000, although the US embassy has evidence of local lawyers milking adopting parents for as much as $70,000. Since the adoption process in Guatemala is so lacking in controls, stories of abuse are abundant.

The 2005 Eu report on Organized Crime(PDF) stated that an estimated 1 million children were involved in illegal adoptions in a market worth 1 billion Euros.

More than 50,000 people from Africa reached the southern shores of Europe in 2006. Those that paid a human smuggler to guide them into Europe paid the smugglers between $2,000 to$5,000, depending on the origins of the person.

Source: “Destination Europe,” BBC News, September 7, 2007.

In the late 1990s, 90 percent of illegal immigrants in the US from Mexico were believed to have paid a human smuggler to guide them over the border.

Source: Ken Ellingwood, Hard Line: Life and Death on the U.S.-Mexico border, (New York: Pantheon, 2004). Page 85.