Alcohol smuggling in Colombia causes an estimated $300 Million in lost tax revenue for the government. Cigarette smuggling also causes $300 Million in lost tax revenue in Colombia.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is estimated to earn around $1 Million a month through illegal mining activities. The guerrillas control access to illegal gold mines and charge users up to $1,600 for each backhoe that is used in the mining operation.
Children between the ages of 12 to 15 earn up to $6.75 a day by selling black market fuel on the side of the roads in Colombia. The largest area where children are selling the contraband fuel is on the Norther border along Venezuela.
According to the Defence Ministry, in 2011 there were 298 reported hostages who were kidnapped and held for ransom in Columbia. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was responsible for 77 of the 298 hostages in the country.
Cocaine production and the cultivation of coca contributed to 0.3 percent of Colombia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009. Cocaine’s impact on the GDP was lower in 2009 than the 1.4 percent of GDP in 2001.
47 percent of the 17,000 homicides that were recorded in Colombia in 2010 was connected to drug trafficking activities.
As of November 2011, there were an estimated 8,000 members of the guerrilla group FARC in Colombia, down from the high of 17,000. The group earns revenue through black market activities such as drug trafficking and kidnapping for ransom.
According to the United States Coast Guard, drug smugglers use custom-made submarines to bring drugs up from South America and into the United States. The subs are made in the jungle and are typically less than 100 feet long and is staffed by 5 men. The sub can hold up to 6 tons of cocaine and can travel up to 5,000 miles.
Ecopetrol, Colombia’s largest petroleum company, reported losses of $11 Million due to oil theft and smuggling in 2010. An average of 369 barrels of oil was stolen from the company’s pipes every day in 2010. The amount of stolen oil increased by 95 percent from 2009.
Illegal logging in Colombia is worth $60 Million a year, with 42 percent of all timber sold in the country being illegally felled. The cost to extract one cubic meter legally felled wood in Colombia is $334.64. The cost when illegally logging is $195.80 per cubic meter.