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 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 when paying police and security service officials 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.

(More corruption in police services here.)

Source:  Padang Besar, “Thai authorities implicated in Rohingya Muslim smuggling network,” Reuters, July 17, 2013.

According to the Internal Security Force, most human trafficking victims discovered in Lebanon are people from Syria.

In 2009, out of the total 86 human trafficking victims found in Lebanon, 56 of them were from Syria.

In 2010, there were 8 victims from Syria in 2010, and 27 Syrian victims in 2011 and 2012.

In the first half of 2013, a reported 16 Syrians were identified as victims of human trafficking in Lebanon.

Due to the conflict in Syria, many women are turning to prostitution in the refugee camps and increasing the risks of human trafficking.

Source:  Samya Kullab, “Whether survival sex or prostitution, Syria’s poorest refugees face grim choices,” Daily Star, July17, 2013.

In 2011, officials in Peru seized 2,962 cultural artifacts throughout the year from being smuggled out of the country. The average number of items seized per month equaled 247 each month.

In 2012, the number of artifacts and antiques seized by officials decreased to 1,870, an average of 155 per month.

In the first five months of 2013, authorities seized 367 artifacts in Peru, a rate of 73 items per month.

Despite the decrease in seizures, Peruvian authorities still registered 115 stolen artifacts that have been lost during the first 4 months of 2013. Between 2007 till May 2013, the Ministry of Culture has registered 3,470 stolen pieces of artifacts that have been stolen from Peru.

(More about antique smuggling and art theft.)

Source:  Peggy Pindo, “Peru targets smuggling of cultural goods,” Infosurhoy, July 15, 2013.

Due to an increase in landfill taxes in Scotland, organized crime groups have been providing illegal waste dumping services to companies.

According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a single illegal landfill can be filled with trash that causes the government to lose up to $1.3 Million (€1 Million) in tax revenue.

Between 2008 to 2012, 40 companies were convicted for illegal waste dumping in Scotland.

Source:  “Scotland: Crime and Illegal Landfills,” Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, July 3, 2013.

Computer hackers and identity thieves sell full kits of stolen identity on Internet forums for $1,200 to $1,300. These stolen identity kits contains a person’s basic information along with their Social Security number, driver license copy,  and bank account information with routing numbers.

For rush orders, the hackers charge an additional $100 to $500 for the set of documents.

(Prices to buy fake ids and passports on the black market.)

The buyers of these kits use the information to receive medical treatment. According to cyber security researchers, the buyers of these kits use the information to obtain treatment and surgeries with the stolen ids. Common uses are for kidney dialysis treatment and appendectomies. Thus, when there is a medical emergency, a rush order is placed.

Security researchers state that many of the buyers of the stolen ids do not have their own health insurance.

(More cybercrime prices here.)

Source:  Adam Greenberg, “Health insurance credentials fetch high prices in the online black market,” SC Magazine, July 16, 2013.


In the first half of 2013, environmental officials in Ireland recovered 400 tons of waste that was illegally dumped by organized crime groups in Ireland. The waste was used to create white fuel that was used by drivers, and included ingredients such as sulfuric acid, cat litter, charcoal, and sand.

In 2012, officials seized 445 tons throughout the entire year.

Law enforcement agencies across the country discovered 11 illegal oil and fuel producing plants in 2012. The fuel smuggling operations was estimated to have cost the government up to $130 Mill lion (€100 Million) in tax revenue.

Source:  Stephen Breen, “Smuggling gangs take us for fuels,” Irish Sun, July 15, 2013.

A migrant who has illegally crossed the US-Mexico border on numerous occasions told the Mexican media that human smugglers were charging between $3,000 to $20,000 to bring migrants across the border.

The difference in prices charged were due to the type of service and documents the migrant was to receive. At the lower end of the price scale, the human smuggler would help the migrant jump the border fence and guide them to safety.

For paying smuggler $20,000, the migrant would be able to obtain original, legal documentation and assistance from US Border Patrol Agents who have been corrupted by the human smugglers.

(Prices paid to human smugglers around the world.)

Source:  James Bargent, “Migrants Pay Up to $20,000 to Cross US-Mexico Border,” Insight Crime, July 9, 2013.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, there were 48 pirate attacks in Indonesia in the first six months of 2013.

Nigeria had 22 pirate attacks, up from the 6 attacks in all of 2011.

Pirates reportedly attacked 4 ships off the coast of Somalia, compared to the 125 attacks in 2011.

In 2012, sea piracy activities off the coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea costs shipping companies up to $2 Billion.

Source:  Associated Press, “Piracy watchdog reports worrying surge in attacks, kidnapping, armed robbery in Gulf of Guinea,” Washington Post, July 15, 2013.

Update: January 12, 2014: Latest figures state that there are 33,000 prostitutes working in Vietnam in 2013.

According to security services, there are over 180,000 legal establishments such as hotels, karaoke bars and massage parlors across the country that employ up to 60,000 female employees. Out of that total, up to 7,000 women in those establishments are suspected of being sex workers.

The prostitution industry in Vietnam has lead to an increase in HIV infections across the country. Statistics from public health programs reported that there were 213,400 people across Vietnam that were living with HIV as of May 2013. In the first 5 months of 2013, officials reported 4,4000 new cases of HIV.

In the city of Can Tho, 75 percent of new HIV infections were due to sexual relations.

(Price of prostitutes worldwide.)

Source:  “The naked truth about prostitution in Vietnam,” Thanh Nien, July 14, 2013.

According to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW),  there are an estimated 51 million girls under the age of 18 who are married worldwide.

In addition to the minors who are already married, the ICRW estimates that an underage girl gets married every three seconds, or 10 million child marriages during the year.

In countries such as Pakistan, there is an illegal custom called Swara where young girls are forcibly married off to settle family and tribal disputes. According to figures collected by activists, at least 180 cases of young girls being forced into marriage occur. An article by Foreign Policy magazine reported on a 5 year old girl who was married off to an older man as compensation.

70 percent of girls in Pakistan are married before they reach the age of 16, according to UNICEF.

Source:  Adriana Carranca, “Malala’s Forgotten Sisters,” Foreign Policy, July 12, 2013.