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.

For the time period of January to June 2007, the National Police Agency in Japan seized 331,136 counterfeit items, a record for a six month period.  The total figure seized is already higher then the total number of seizures in all of 2006.

45.7 percent of the counterfeit goods were from China.

Source: Kyodo News, “Fake brand seizures hit new half-year high,” Japan Times, August 24, 2007.


The figures are based on notice of violation letters sent by the Recording Industry Association of America. The figures were based during the time period of September 2006 to mid-February 2007.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, here are the top ten schools that illegally download music from the Internet:

1. Ohio University

2. Purdue University

3. University of Nebraska, Lincoln

4. University of Tennessee, Knoxville

5. University of South Carolina

6. University of Massachusetts at Amherst

7. Michigan State University

8. Howard University

9. North Carolina State University

10. University of Wisconsin, Madison

For more on this issue, please visit our Music Piracy page.

In the first part of 2007, Custom officials in Finland seized about 140,000 doses of counterfeit drugs.

Officials believe that a majority of the fake drugs are passed through Finland an on to the world black market.

Source: “Counterfeit medicines pass through Finland to world markets,” Helsingin Sanomat, June 14, 2007.

Hundred of millions of dollars are believed to be lost to counterfeit Cuban cigars annually.

Source: Doreen Hemlock, “Beware of cigar imposters” , South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 9, 2006.



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.


Illegal drug exports by North Korea generates $500 Million for the state, making it the world’s third largest opium trafficker and the world’s sixth largest heroin trafficker.

(More heroin statistics here.)

Source: Ah-Young Kim, “End North Korea’s Drug Trade,” PacNet, No.26, Pacific Forum CSIS, June 6, 2003.

The Nepalese music industry losses an estimated $5.6 Million a year to music piracy.

Source: Asian News International, “Nepalese music industry losing millions to piracy,”, December 7, 2006.


50 percent of all perfumes and cosmetics sold in Russia are counterfeit products, according to deputy minister of economic development and trade back in 2003.

Source: “Counterfeit cosmetics challenge market,” Cosmetics Design, November 28, 2003.