Human Smuggling

Information and statistics about human smuggling and illegal transportion of migrants worldwide. Data about the routes, prices and journey are collected from intelligence agencies, security reports and other public information sources.

A broker who arranges people to be smuggled out of North Korea and into China and South Korea told the BBC that she earns between $2,000 to $3,000 a month.

(More illegal, criminal jobs income.)

Source:  Lucy Williamson, “Shadowy world of Korea’s people smugglers,” BBC News, July 6, 2011.

According to a woman attempting to smuggle her family into South Korea from North Korea, the reported price was $3,500 from North Korea into China and an additional $2,500 to bring the person into South Korea.

Source: Lucy Williamson, “Shadowy world of Korea’s people smugglers,” BBC News, July 6, 2011.

The price on the black market to be smuggled into the United States from Mexico by boat across the Pacific Ocean is reported to be $5,000.

The fee by crossing by boat is higher than fee for crossing into the US by land.

(Human Smugglers Prices Charged to Migrants.)

Source: Associated Press, “15 Illegal Immigrants Stranded On Calif. Island,” NPR, July 11, 2011.


The first officially found tunnel found on the US-Mexico border was discovered in 1990. Between 1990 and 2011, 154 smuggling tunnels were found on the border.

The tunnels are used by criminal gangs to smuggle either humans or drugs from Mexico into the United States.

Source: AFP, “Secret tunnels found on US-Mexico border,” Google News, June 15, 2011.

Immigration Officials in Canada report that people from Sri Lanka were paying human smugglers up to $45,800 (45,000 Canadian Dollars) to be smuggled into Canada.

Source: Colin Freeze and Carys Mills, “RCMP arrest four migrants in human smuggling operation,” Globe and Mail, June 14, 2011.

Up to 300,000 illegal immigrants pass through Mexico each year in order to cross the border into the United States.

Source: Ionan Grillo, “Mexican drug gangs compete for bounty from human trafficking,” GlobalPost, May 31, 2011.

In the first 5 months of 2011, over 9,000 people from Somalia and over 27,000 people from Ethiopia have smuggled by boat into Yemen.

Source: “Deaths reported in human smuggling incident in the Gulf of Aden,” CNN, May 31, 2011.

According to an organized crime expert at Mexico’s Autonomous Technological Institute, only half of the drug cartels revenue in 2011 is coming from the illegal drug trade. The other half in revenue is generated from black market activities such as kidnapping for ransom, extortion, human smuggling, and counterfeiting.

Source: Lauren Villagren, “Mexico’s crime groups grabbing lucrative market for pirated goods,” Bellingham Herald, May 22, 2011.

Human smugglers in Mexico typically pay the drug smuggling cartels up to 20 percent of their earnings for “protection.”

Source: Ioan Grillo, “513 Migrants in Two Tractor-Trailers: Why Mexico’s Drug Cartels Are Moving into Human Smuggling,” Time, May 19, 2011.

Migrants from Guatemala paid human smugglers $7,000 to be smuggled into the United States from Mexico in 2011.

The human smuggling fee from Guatemala is up from the reported price of $2,450 in 2008.

Source: Associated Press, “Mexico police find 513 US-bound migrants in trucks,” Yahoo News, May 17, 2011.