The Polaris Project, an non-governmental organization, estimates that there are up to 54,000 human trafficking victims that are bought and sold in Japan each year.

In an article with the Bangkok Post, the report highlighted cases where women from the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea were trafficked to Japan in order to work in the prostitution industry.

In addition to women from foreign countries, girls and women from Japan are trafficked within the country. The Polaris Project states that domestic violence victims, single mothers and other women facing financial struggles are targeted. It was previously reported that minors were having sex with men for $100.

(More prices of human trafficking victims.)

Source:  “Activists demand action against human trafficking in Japan,” Bangkok Post, December 25, 2013.

According to the Tax and Customs Authority in Hungary, security authorities seized 68 million cigarettes that were being sold on the black market. In the first 10 months of 2013, the number of cigarettes seized increased to 85 million.

The price of a pack of cigarettes in Hungary has increase in recent years. In 2011, the price for a pack was $2.76 (600 Hungarian Forints). In 2013, the average price increased to $4.61 (1,000 Forints.)

Source:  AFP, “Hungary turns to black market for a smoke,” Google News, December 24, 2013.

Over 50,000 hectares of rainforests in Peru was estimated to have been destroyed in 2013 due to illegal mining activities. In 2012, 18,000 hectares of rainforest was destroyed due to illegal mining.

Illegal mining has become a profitable activity on the black market for criminals in Peru. The value of the illegal gold mining in 2013 was 15 percent higher than the profits drug traffickers received from trafficking cocaine.

Source:  Cecilia Jamasmie, “Illegal mining is Latin America’s new cocaine,”, December 23, 2013.

Illegal loggers are smuggling out the bois de rose tree out of Madagascar to meet high demand for the timber. The bois de rose tree are popular in international markets due to its natural ruby colored hue within the wood.

One illegal logging group leader stated that he pays his loggers $1.33 for each kilogram of bois de rose that they cut down.

Back in 2009, an estimated $491,000 worth of bois de rose trees were being exported out of Madagascar each day. Environmental protection officers believe that the amount being exported in 2013 was much higher.

(More underground economy salaries and income.)

Source:  Tamasin Ford, “Madagascar’s forests vanish to feed taste for rosewood in west and China,” Guardian, December 23, 2013.

Security services across Costa Rica saw an increase in the number of illegal drugs seized across the country.

43 tons of cocaine was seized by law enforcement in 2013, an increase from the 15.6 tons of cocaine seized in 2012.

Ecstasy also saw an increase, with a total of 11,300 doses of ecstasy seized from the black market. 293 ecstasy tablets were seized the year before.

(Price of ecstasy tablets for sale on the black market.)

Researchers have also found that the use of marijuana has increased in Costa Rica. Between 2006 and 2012, the use of marijuana by residents in Costa Rica increased by 260 percent and is the most used illicit drug in the country. A popular form of marijuana in Costa Rica is the High Red Jamaican marijuana.

Source:  Ezra Fieser, “United Nations: Costa Rica is fighting organ and narco-trafficking,” Infosurhoy, December 24, 2013.

The Nigerian Navy reported destroying 1,556 illegal oil refineries that were selling oil on the black market in Nigeria during its 2013 fiscal year.

Along with the illegal production sites, security services in Nigeria also apprehended 1,646 people for oil smuggling activities.

In 2013, it was estimated that up to 100,000 barrels of oil was being stolen from refineries each day in Nigeria.

Source:  “Navy Destroys 1,556 Illegal Oil Refineries, Arrests 1646 Suspect in 2013,” ThisDay Live, December 23, 2013.

For every $100 in credit card transactions, about 6 cents is lost to fraud.

In 2012, global businesses lost $11.27 Billion to credit card fraud, an increase of 14.6 percent from 2011.

Credit card fraud in the United States accounted for 47 percent of all fraudulent charges in 2012. The rate of fraud was the highest in the world, with the United States accounting for 24 percent of credit car payments by volume.

(Prices of cyber threats and online fraud.)

Source:  Joshua Brustein, “Why the U.S. Leaves Its Credit-Card System Vulnerable to Fraud,” Bloomberg Businessweek, December 23, 2013.

In 2012, there were 3 babies being born each day in England that were addicted to cocaine, heroin and other types of drugs.

1,129 babies were born with “neonatal withdrawal symptoms”, according to the National Health Service. The number of babies born addicted to drugs was 11 percent higher than the number born in 2008.

The babies are addicted to the drugs due to the mother abusing the drugs while pregnant. Within the first few hours of being born, the babies face withdrawal symptoms from the drugs, such as vomiting and diarrhea. The babies must be placed immediately in drug treatment programs.

Source:  Andrew Gregory, “Rise in babies born addicted to heroin and crack cocaine as numbers hit three a day,” Mirror, December 24, 2013.

(More United Kingdom security threats.)

According to US Government statistics, there were an average of 6,000 to 7,000 minors who were apprehended crossing the United States and Mexico border unaccompanied by an adult between 2008 and 2011. These unaccompanied minors would be placed in custody with the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

In 2012, the number of unaccompanied children who were place with the Office of Refugee Resettlement increased to 13,625  minors.

In 2013, the number increased again to 24,668 minors.

These figures only include minors who were placed in the office, and does not include the children who were sent to Mexico in conjunction with its government.

Most of the children who end up at the office are from Central America.

(Prices charged by human smugglers.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Judge: US government assisting child smuggling,” Washington Post, December 19, 2013.

Security officers with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the Philippines seized counterfeit goods worth a total of $174 Million (7.76 Billion Philippine Pesos) in 2013. The value of the fake goods seized in 2013 was higher than the $118 Million (5.27 Billion Pesos) seized in 2012.

Among the counterfeit items seized by criminal justice departments were replica handbagsclothing and counterfeit electronics.

Source:  Louella Desiderio, “Gov’t seizes 47% more fake items this year,” Philippine Star, December 22, 2013.