1. Bangladesh$0.335 Billion ($335 Million)

  2. Black Market Crime in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from the black market in Bangladesh. Threat information and intelligence collected from government agencies, news articles and other public information sources.

According to data released by criminal justice programs, India is a main supplier of illegal narcotics to countries in South Asia.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) reported that drugs and ingredients from India’s pharmaceutical industry is diverted to the black market. The illicit pharmaceutical pills are either trafficked domestically or smuggled on to the global black market.

In addition to prescription drugs, India provides most of the heroin that is consumed in Bangladesh. Most of the cannabis that is consumed in Bangladesh and Nepal is also produced in India and smuggled across the border.

Most of the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine uses to make meth in Myanmar is believed to have originated from India as well.

The rate of opium seizures in India has grown in the last three years. In 2009, government security agencies seized about 1.7 tonnes of opium in India. In 2012, over 3 tonnes of opium was seized.

14 kilograms of cocaine was seized in India in 2011. In 2012, the amount of cocaine seized tripled to 42 kilograms.

(All prescription drug abuse statistics.)

Source:  “Prescription drug abuse growing in India: UN report,” Indian Express, March 5, 2014.

There are an estimated 200,000 prostitutes working in Bangladesh.

In 2004, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimated that 10,000 underage girls were working as prostitutes in Bangladesh. Other estimates about the girls working in the sex industry placed the number at 29,000. Many of the girls working in the sex industry are victims of human trafficking and their families were paid $250 by traffickers.

(More prices of human trafficking victims.)

90 percent of the prostitutes in Bangladesh take a steroid in order to appear older and to assist them in having sex with more clients each day. The steroid, called oradexon, is usually used by farmers to fatten up their livestock.

Sex customers in Bangladesh pay 60 cents for each visit, while the young girls pay 16 cents for the steroid.

(More prostitution rates worldwide.)

Source:  “Bangladeshi sex workers take steroids to snag clients,” Deutsche Welle, February 28, 2014.

The underinvoicing of imports from China into Bangladesh is estimated to be as high as $3 Billion a year.

Underinvoicing is the fraudulent method of paying for invoices and taxes. The Economist used an example where a importer in Bangladesh orders $10 in goods from China. Rather than paying the full amount, the importer pays $1 through the official invoice and pays the remaining $9 through an informal system of money.

The benefits for both the exporter and the importer is that they are able to avoid their tax payments. If underinvoicing was eliminated in Bangladesh, economists estimate that the government could increase its tax-to-GDP ration by 1.5 percent.

Source:  “Counterfeit counterfoils,” Economist, September 3, 2013.


In 2008, security agencies seized 36,000 methamphetamine pills, also known as yaba pills, in Bangladesh.

In 2012, the number of yaba seized increased to nearly 2 million, according to the Department of Narcotics Control.

(Methamphetamine facts and abuse information.)

At a drug addiction rehab center in Bangladesh, heroin abusers consisted of 80 percent of all clients up until 2011. As of 2012, up to 70 percent of the center’s drug addicts were yaba users.

There are an estimated 3 million people in Bangladesh who are addicted to illegal drugs. The illegal drug trade provides employment to about 100,000 people in Bangladesh.

(How much does meth cost around the world?)

Source:  Kate Hodal, “Meth drug makers lure children in Thailand with sweet-coated yaba pills,” Guardian, August 27, 2013.

The Forced Marriage Unit in the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office investigates up to 1,500 cases a year.

Nearly half of the cases of forced marriage investigated involve marriages with individuals in Pakistan. 11 percent of the cases involve Bangladesh, and 8 percent involve India. The remaining cases are spread out to over 50 different countries.

The unit reported that the youngest victim that they have come across who was forced into marriage was two years old.

Source:  Andy McSmith, “Girls escape forced marriage by concealing spoons in clothing to set off metal detectors at the airport,” Independent, August 15, 2013.

There are nearly 3 million people in Bangladesh who are estimated to be addicted to illegal drugs.

80 percent of the drug users are between the ages of 15 to 30.

(See illegal drug prices and other crimes in Bangladesh here.)

Source: Xinhua, “Feature: Drug abuse in Bangladesh reaches alarming proportion,” China Daily, April 22, 2013.

Recruitment agents who work for human trafficking groups in Northern Bangladesh earn various fees for finding girls.

If an agent finds a girl who is “certified as ‘fit'” and is determined to be good-looking enough to work as a prostitute in India, then the agent receives a payment of $1,456 to $1,821 (80,000 to 100,000 Indian Rupees).

If a trafficking agent finds someone to work as a domestic help or as a laborer, then the agent receives a payment of $273.

(More traffickers prices here.)

Source:  Sumati Yengkhom, “Trafficking of tribal girls: ‘Agents’ make big bucks, thrive on easy prey,” Times of India, March 4, 2013.

The cost to buy a Nepali passport on the black market is reported to be $1,740 (150,000 Nepali Rupee). If a legitimate visa is included with the fake passport, then the price rises to $6,961 (600,000 Rupees).

The passports are reportedly bought by Bangladeshi nationals who use it to increase their chances of obtain employment. In addition, drug traffickers and wildlife traffickers occasionally buy Nepali passports to hide their identity.

(More information about the passport black market.)

Source: “Nepal emerging as ‘regional hub for human trafficking’,” eKantipur.com, February 24, 2013.

90 percent of the population of Bangladesh are Muslims, and up to 3 million cows are needed to meet the consumption levels of the country. In order to meet the demand, Bangladeshi slaughterhouses need to import cows from other sources.

However, in neighboring India, cows are considered sacred in their Hindu practices. Many Indian states ban the slaughter of cows.

Thus, an illegal black market has emerged where over 2 million cows are smuggled from India into Bangladesh The value of the smuggled cows are worth $920 Million (50 Billion Rupees).

Source:  Shaikh Azizur Rahman, “Cow smuggling … it’s how Bangladesh gets its beef,” Christian Science Monitor, January 26, 2013.

A report released by Transparency International stated that $2.7 Billion (€2.1 Billion) was paid out in bribes in Bangladesh between April 2011 to April 2012.  The amount of bribes paid out is equal to 13.6 percent of Bangladesh’s national budget.

According to their survey of 7,906 households, 63.7 percent of respondents reported having to pay a bribe in order to receive government services.

The average household paid $86 (€66) in bribes throughout the year, or a tenth of the average yearly salary in the country.

The highest rate of corruption was in the labor migration sector, with 77 percent of people seeking services was forced to pay a bribe. Law enforcement agencies had the next highest rate with 75.8 percent of people forced to pay bribes, followed by land administration with 59 percent, and judicial services with 57 percent.

Source:  Shaikh Azizur Rahman, “Bribery becomes a pricey commodity in Bangladesh,” Deutsche Welle, January 8, 2013.