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.

In 2013, security services in Nepal arrested 129 people who were foreign nationals within the country who were trafficking drugs. The Nepalese Narcotics Bureau state that a large portion of the drugs used within the country takes place by foreign tourists visiting Katmandu, with the primary drug used being marijuana.

During the year, government security officials seized 25 tonnes of cannabis in Nepal.

The black market price of marijuana in Katmandu is reported to be about $70 for a kilogram (7,000 Nepali Rupees), which is around one-tenth the price of a kilo when compared to Western countries.

(More prices of marijuana around the world.)

Source:  “Foreign Drug Users Find Paradise In Nepal,” Bernama, December 30, 2013.

According to reader submitted information to Havocscope, the street price of a gram of heroin in Australian city of Perth is $500.

To buy a quarter gram, the reported price is $200, and for half a gram the street price is $350.

The submitted information was based upon street prices as of January 1, 2014.

The last reported price available from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had the retail street price of heroin in Australia to be $50.4 per gram.

(How much does heroin cost?)

Source:  User Submitted Information to Havocscope, Received on January 2, 2014.

Online websites that offer to write essays and college papers reportedly charge between $13 to $40 per page. The price for the paper varies depending on how quickly the paper needs to be written, as well as the grade level of the customer.

In an interview with a ghost writer conducted by Gulf News, one writer who caters to the Middle East stated that he charges about $27 (100 UAE Dirham) per page, but could charge as much as $544 (2,000 Dirham) per page depending on the topic. The ghost writer stated that the end of the semester is his busiest time, where he could be writing papers for up to 40 clients. He writes out each paper using original research, and caters his English language skills to match his client. After he writes the paper, he explains the ideas and concepts with the customer so that the student can defend the paper to the instructor.

(Information about buying fake degrees and fake diplomas.)

Another ghost writer, who works full time in an corporate setting, claims that she can make up to $1361 (5,000 Dirham) for writing a paper on a short deadline.

In the United Kingdom, the online essay writing industry is estimated to be worth $330 Million (£200 Million).

Source:  Noor Nazzal, “Sale of black-market essays to university students on the rise,” Gulf News, December 28, 2013.

Police in Hong Kong arrested 277 women for prostitution offenses in 2013 Most of the women working as prostitutes went to the island from the mainland provinces of Hunana, Hubei, Sichuana nd Fujian.

The ages of the prostitutes arrested in Hong Kong ranged from 17 to 60. The younger girls would work at a brothel, while the older women would solicit older or retired men on the streets.

A 17 year old girl who moved to Hong Kong from Sichuan province stated that she chose to work as a prostitute in order to make more money. Customers were paying the girl $50 to $65 (300 to 400 Chinese Yuan) per activity.

(More prostitution prices worldwide.)

Source:  “Hong Kong authorities crack down on sex workers from mainland China,” Want China Times, December 29, 2013.

Additional prostitution stats and prices available in our ebook:


In the first ten months of 2013, authorities in Ireland seized 929 liters of counterfeit alcohol across the country. In 2012, the number of fake alcohol bottles  that were seized total 232. Vodka was reported to be the most counterfeited bottle in 2013.

Criminal justice programs state that counterfeiters use legitimate alcohol bottles when making counterfeits. The real bottles are taken from recycling centers or directer from bars and pubs. The bottles are then filled with raw alcohol and then diluted with water to achieve a 37.5 to 40 percent alcohol by volume.

Although bootleg alcohol seizures increased in 2013, the number of cigarette packs seized from the black market decreased in Ireland. In 2012, a total of 95 million cigarettes were seized across Ireland. In 2013, the number of smuggled cigarettes seized decreased to 37.7 million.

Source:  Kitty Holland, “Bootleg alcohol seizures rise dramatically,” Irish Times, December 28, 2013.

Criminal justice programs across Colombia report that synthetic drugs are more popular with users that traditional forms of illegal drugs.

In the capital of Bogota, synthetic drugs are used more often than marijuana, cocaine and heroin, according to the National Police of Colombia. A study conducted in 2013 found that there were 130 points of sale in Bogota where synthetic drugs were available for purchase.

Over 45 different types of synthetic drugs are available for users in Bogota. These pills are sold by drug dealers at a wide range of prices, depending on the substance and the time of day. The reported price for a single pill of a synthetic drugs range from $5.19 to $51.90 (10,000 to 100,000 Colombian Pesos).

In comparison, the price for a single hit of Punto Rojo marijuana in Bogota is $1 (2,000 Pesos), and a single gram of low-grade cocaine is $5.19 (10,000 Pesos).

(Cocaine prices by gram.)

Source:  Santiago Wills, “Synthetic drugs a new plague in Colombia,” Infosurhoy, December 27, 2013.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported that over 120,000 counterfeit Swiss watches were seized during anti-counterfeiting campaigns in 2013. In a single raid on a warehouse in Dubai, authorities seized about 90,000 fake Swiss watches.

In addition to the counterfeit watches, nearly 700,000 components used to make counterfeit Swiss watches were also seized during 2013.

The counterfeit watch industry is estimated to generate up to $1 Billion in sales each year.

The legitimate Swiss Watch Industry had exports worth $23.9 Billion in 2012.

Source:  “Fake watches crackdown deemed a success,”, December 27, 2013.

According to information submitted by readers to Havocscope,  average price to buy cocaine in Poland is $80. In the capital of Warsaw, the price of a gram of cocaine is generally more expensive and is sold on the black market for $90 to $100.  Often, cocaine is offered at a cheaper rate. However, the submitted stated that this generally means that it is not pure cocaine but rather mephedrone laced with lidocaine. The figures released by the United Nations in its World Drug Report last stated that cocaine is sold for $53 per gram.

The cost to buy marijuana was also submitted to Havocscope. The average price for a gram of weed is generally $10 in Poland, with prices going up to $20. Another submission stated that it costs $6.6 to $9.9 per gram for marijuana on the black market. The United Nations stated that marijuana costs an average of $6.6 per gram.

Source: Reader submission to Havocscope, received on December 27, 2013.

Police in Spain estimate that there are 12,000 human trafficking victims in the country who are forced to work as prostitutes.

The income that traffickers make from prostituting these victims is reported to be $6 Million a day, or $2.1 Billion a year.

Most of the women are trafficked from Brazil, China, Nigeria, Paraguay and Romania.

Across Europe, there were an estimated 23,632 people who were trafficked between 2008 and 2010, according to the European Commission. Spain had the highest number of victims after Italy.

Source:  Ines Benitez, “Spain grapples with human trafficking,” Al Jazeera, December 26, 2013.

In December 2013, it was reported that US retailer Target had a data breach where 40 million credit cards and debit cards were stolen. The thieves stole the information when customers made purchases starting on November 27, 2013, which was Black Friday. The breach lasted until December 15, 2013.

By December 18, 2013, the credit card numbers were available for sale at online black market forums where credit cards and identity sets are sold. According to security researcher Brian Kreb, who broke the story, the prices of these cards were available for purchase for $26.60 to $44.80. The forums does not accept payment in credit cards, so buyers would need to pay for these products by  Bitcoin or other virtual currencies.

(Prices of other cyber crimes and hacking.)

Source:  Brian Kreb, “Cards Stolen in Target Breach Flood Underground Markets,” Krebs on Security, December 20, 2013.