1. Cuba $0.100 Billion ($100 Million)

  2. Black Market Crime in Cuba

Cuba Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Cuba’s black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

Based on previous intelligence and reports, the average price that a person from Cuba pays to human smugglers to be transported across the Florida Straits to the United States is $10,000.

A United States Federal Security Agent testified that when the person being smuggled out of Cuba is a potential Major League Baseball Player, then the smuggling fee can be up to 25 times higher, or $250,000.  In addition to these fee that must be paid to the smugglers, the baseball player and his family must agree to give up to 20 percent of the initial contract that is signed with a professional baseball team.

According to the Los Angeles Times, there are some current major league players from Cuba who are currently making payments to the smugglers while their families back home are threatened with violence is payment is not received.

Source:  Kevin Baxter and Brian Bennett, “In booming marketplace for Cuban players, Puig’s tale far from unique,” Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2014.

The Justice Minister of Cuba reported that the government convicted 224 people for pimping activities in 2012. Seven individuals were also arrested for abusing minors.

It was previously reported by media outlets that many tourists, particularly from Canada and Spain, travel to Cuba in order to have sex with underage children.

(Prostitution prices worldwide.)

Source:  Juan O. Tamayo, “Cuba’s Justice Minister says the government fights prostitution,” Miami Herald, October 16, 2013.

A man in the US State of Florida was selling counterfeit Cuban birth certificates to illegal immigrants in the United States. Due to US immigration policy, Cuban nationals are able to apply for a green card after one year of being in the country.

The man was selling fake Cuban birth certificates to migrants from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Each migrant was already in the United States illegally, and paid between $10,000 to $50,000 for the fake documents. By possessing the fake Cuban birth certificates, the migrants attempted to pass off as Cuban nationals to US immigration officials.

According to court documents, the man sold around 50 fake birth certificates and made over $500,000.

(Additional prices to buy fake id and birth certificates.)

Source: Alfonso Chardy, “Feds find scores of counterfeit Cuban ‘green cards’,” Bradenton Herald, August 26, 2013.


State media in Cuba reported that authorities in the country seized 20,240 pounds (9,181 kilograms) of illicit drugs in 2011, the majority of which was marijuana.

In addition, law enforcement detected 399 aerial drops of drugs to boats on its way to smuggle the drugs into the United States, an increase from the 108 aerial drops detected in 2010.

(See all marijuana facts and information.)

Source: Associated Press, “Cuba says it seized more than 9 tons of drugs in 2011, open to narcotics treaty with US,” Washington Post, January 13, 2012.

Producers of unauthorized cigars in Cuba purchase materials illegally in order to manufacture unlicensed Cuban Cigars.

Black market cigars are purchased for $8 for 25 cigars, with the boxes to hold the cigars sold for $5. Rings to insert onto the cigar are sold for the black market price of $30.

Most of the unlicensed cigars are sold to tourists on the island.

There were 81.5 million legitimate Cuban cigars made in 2010.

Source: Jack Kimball, “Cuba’s cigars: a black market tale of survival,” Reuters, December 15, 2011.

Before the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro in Cuba, there were an estimated 100,000 prostitutes working in the sex trade in the country.

Source: AFP, “Cuba looks to Sweden in fight against prostitution,” Expatica, November 10, 2011.

In the Fiscal Year 2011, authorities in the United States seized around 1,700 people from Cuba who were attempting to enter the U.S., which was a 100 percent increase from the 831 people seized in Fiscal Year 2010.

The U.S. Coast Guard seized around 1,000 people at sea, an increase from 422 the year before. Cubans who landed on U.S. shores increased to almost 700, up from the 409 people in the previous fiscal year.

The average human smuggling price that people paid to smugglers in order to bring people into the United States remained at $10,000.

Source: Alfonso Chardy and Juan O. Tamayo, “Illegal Cuban migration, after years of decline, is up again,” Miami Herald, October 9, 2011.

The U.S Customs and Border Patrol office at Chicago’s O’hare airport seizes between 10 to 12 Cuban cigars a week.

Source: Andrew L. Wang and Serena Maria Daniels,”Holy smokes, what a cache of Cuban cigars at O’Hare,” Chicago Tribune, December 6, 2010.

Over 80 percent of the computers in Cuba are believed to be using pirated copies of Microsoft.

Pirated video games are sold for the equivalent of $2, and movies still showing in US theaters are regularly shown on state-owned television stations.

Source: Esteban Israel, “Despite embargo, Cuba a haven for pirated U.S. goods,” Reuters, September 2, 2010.

Human smuggling from Cuba to the United States through Mexico costs up to $10,000 per person. The route is usually by boat into Mexico and then across the US-Mexico border.

An estimated 10,000 Cubans are smuggled into Mexico each year on their way to the United States.

Source: Arthur Brice, “Cuban migrants held for ransom in Mexico rescued, government says,” CNN, September 1, 2010.