The global black market has the ability to create financial losses for corporations and governments worldwide. Threat intelligence of the illegal trade is provided to help mitigate this risk. Reports and assessments has been collected from various sources such as government agencies, academic reports, media publications and reported data from our readers.

The Ministry of Interior in Cambodia reported that security services in the country investigated 93 cases of human trafficking in 2013. The number of human trafficking cases declined from 135 in 2012.

256 people were rescued from human trafficking activities, and 116 traffickers were prosecuted by the court system. In comparison, 523 victims were rescued and 168 people were prosecuted in 2012.

(More human trafficking statistics.)

Source:  Sen David, “Trafficking fight goes on: gov’t,” Phnom Penh Post, February 20, 2014.

According to data released by Mexican state owned oil company Pemex, 2,614 illegal fuel siphons were discovered on their pipes in 2013. The theft from their pipes lead to losses of gasoline, oil, natural gas and petrochemicals.

Back in 2000, the oil company discovered 155 illegal fuel siphons, which means that the rate of fuel theft at Pemex has increased by 1,548 percent in 13 years.

Based on the number of siphons, an attempt to steal oil and fuel from the pipelines took place at a rate of every 14 hours in 2013.

In the border state of Tamaulipas, there were 8 illegal siphons in 2000. In 2013, the company discovered 539 siphons.

In the sate of Veracruz, there were 25 siphons in 2000 and 240 in 2013.

In the state of Jalisco, the siphons increased from 7 in 2000 to 230 in 2013.

In the state of Guanajuato, the siphons went from 13 in 2000 to 165 in 2013.

And in Nuevo Leon, fuel siphons from pipelines went form 1 in 2000 to 140 in 2013.

Security analysts and oil industry officials state that areas where drug trafficking cartels are active see more fuel siphons.

Source:  “Major Increase Of Illegal Oil Siphoning In Mexico Leads To Losses In The Millions,” Fox News Latino, February 5, 2014.

In 2013, over 300,000 usernames, passwords and online credentials were posted to the website, according to Swiss security firm High-Tech Bridge.

311,095 pairs of username and passwords were posted on Pastebin in 2013. Based on the number of data leaks that were posted on the site, each leak had about 1,000 user credentials on average.

40 percent of the data leaks posted involved email usernames and passwords. Of those emails, 25 percent were Gmail addresses and 22 percent were Yahoo email addresses.

(Online fraud and other cyber crime prices.)

Source:  “300,000 compromised accounts available on Pastebin: just the tip of cybercrime iceberg,” High-Tech Bridge, February 18, 2014.

An estimated 8,125 pangolins were confiscated by wildlife officials in 49 incidents that took place across 13 countries.

Using an estimate that seizures represent 10 to 20 percent of the total wildlife trafficking market, media reports state that up to 40,625 to 81,250 pangolins were possibly killed in 2013.

Pangolin is an wildlife animal in high demand across Southeast Asia. To buy a pangolin on the black market across Asia costs about $1,000.

(More illegal exotic animals for sale.)

Source:  Rhishja Cota-Larson, “Pangolins Roll into the Wildlife Trafficking Spotlight,” National Geographic, News Watch, February 18, 2014.


An article by the Daily Express in the UK reported on the black market trade in valuable and rare orchids, and the prices that buyers purchase these flowers.

A rare Lady’s Slipper orchid, which is so rare that it is given police protection, was found on a golf course in the North of England. The flower was once thought to be extinct. It has been difficult to reintroduce the flower in other areas, creating a high demand for the flower. The flower reportedly can be bought for $8,358 (£5,000) each.

The Gold of Inabalu orchid can only be found in Malaysia, is sold for $5,850 (£3,500).

Peruvian orchids, which were discovered in 2001, were found to have be available for sale in the United States for $11,701 (£3,500).

The plant and flower trade is increasing in popularity around the world, leading to an increase in illegal cutting of flowers and other thefts. In the United Kingdom, theft from private gardens increased by 20 percent between 2008 and 2013.

(Prices of exotic animals for sale.)

There are 36,000 endangered plants and species around the world. Nearly 30,000 are from the orchid family.

The legal plant trade generates about $15 Billion (£9 Billion) a year.

Source:  Adrian Lee, “The black market for green fingers: Illegal trade in rare plants reaches startling scale,” Daily Express, February 18, 2014.

Illegal logging activities was the top economic related crime in Laos in 2013, according to media reports.

Out of a total of 559 fraud or economic related crimes reported in Laos, 257 cases were related to illegal logging, or 46 percent of all cases.

During the investigations, security services seized 671,000 cubic meters of processed wood, 4.5 million cubic meters of logs, 15 chainsaws, 20 vehicles and 3 motorbikes. A total of $550,000 in cash was also recovered.

Laos has 24 protected national forests across the country.

Source:  “Illegal Logging Tops Economic Crime In Laos Last Year,” Bernama, February 18, 2014.

During the heyday of the New York City Mafia in the 1970s and 1980s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) dedicated a squad of agents to each of the Five Mafia Families in the NYC: the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese, and Luchese families.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, in 2014 the FBI had two squads investigating all five families. One squad, identified as C-5, investigates the Bonannos, Colombos and Genoveses families, while the C-16 squad investigates the Gambinos and Lucheses.

Previously, it was reported that the NYC FBI Field Office has roughly 36 agents investigating organized crime activities in the city.

Investigation of organized crime activities has  fallen in the United States and in New York City as law enforcement priorities shifted to other areas. A 2010 report by the Inspector General listed the priorities of the FBI. The bureau’s top priority was terrorism, followed by espionage, cybercrime, public corruption, protection civil rights, and battling organized crime groups coming in sixth.

The New York Police Department has also cut its funding and staffing for organized crime investigations. In 2014, the NYPD had about 5,000 detectives, about 2,000 detectives below the 2002 staffing levels.

Source:  Sean Gardiner and Pervaiz Shallwani, “Mafia Is Down—but Not Out,” Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2014.

Statistics from criminal justice programs across the United Kingdom reported that 1,746 people were identified as potential human trafficking victims in 2013, an increase of 47 percent from 2012. The victims of human trafficking in the UK came from 112 different countries. The countries with the highest victims were Vietnam, the United Kingdom, and Albania.

1,122 of the potential victims were female. 450 were children.

90 of the trafficking victims were from the United Kingdom, with 63 of them being children.

(More human trafficking statistics.)

Source:  “UK child sex abuse trafficking doubles – National Crime Agency,” BBC News, February 18, 2014.

Police in Fiji broke up a human trafficking ring in February 2014 where girls were being sold by their relatives to older men for sex.

According to investigators with the Human Trafficking Unit in Fiji, girls between the age of 12 to 17 years old were being  sold for $42 to $80 (80 to 150 Fijian Dollars) by their relatives. The girls previously dropped out of school and had run away from their homes. They were living with their relatives, who were then arraigning clients to visit them. The relatives were providing food and shelter, yet were keeping all of the funds generated by the sale of the girls.

(More prices and revenue of human trafficking.)

Source:  Nasik Swami, “Sex racket,” Fiji Times Online, February 19, 2014.

According to the Business Software Association, 16 cases of businesses using pirated software were settled in Australia in 2013. The fines and settlements paid out by the businesses totaled $483,785 (536,050 Australian). The settlements paid out for pirated software was 20 percent higher than the amount paid out in 2012.

The BSA reported that almost a third of the business that were caught using pirated software were architectural firms and companies in the design industry.

Back in 2012, engineering firms accounted for nearly half of all companies caught using pirated software in Australia.

Source:  Hannah Francis, “Business software piracy hits record,” Business Spectator, February 18, 2014.