Jade Smuggling in Myanmar

in Environmental Threats

According to government statistics, over 43 million kilograms of jade was produced in Myanmar during the fiscal 2011 to 2012 year. Based on a conservative estimate by Reuters, the jade would have been worth $4.3 Billion. Less than 1 percent, or $34 Million worth of jade was officially reported to have been exported out of the country.

Financial and security analysts claim that nearly half of the jade ends up being smuggled into China. The jade is smuggled by truck through territory controlled by the Myanmar military or the Kachin Independence Army. Both groups collect a tax from the smuggled jade from black market sales that contributes to the conflict between the military and the KIA.

Source:  Andrew R.C. Marshall and Min Zayar Oo, “Special Report: Myanmar old guard clings to $8 billion jade empire,” Reuters, September 29, 2013.

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