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.

Human smugglers were paying luxury yacht owners to bring in illegal immigrants into the United Kingdom, immigration officials reported.

Immigrants  from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan were paying the human smuggling ring between $3,162 to $9,487 (£2,000 to £6,000) per person to be smuggled into the United Kingdom .

In the 2012 Fiscal Year, immigration enforcement services in the UK apprehended 9,000 people who were attempting to cross the Channel illegally.

Source: Anthony Bond, “Moment immigrant is arrested in crackdown against human trafficking as it is revealed luxury yacht owners are being paid to smuggle people into Britain,” Daily Mail, February 6, 2013.

In addition to smuggling illegal immigrants in to the United Kingdom, human smugglers also move people out of the country.

According to the BBC’s Panorama program, smugglers charge immigrants up to $2,373 (£1,500) to transport people out of the UK and bring them to the French port city of Calais. The immigrants them move on to other countries within the European Union.

(Price rate for human smugglers.)

Source:  Kevin Rawlinson, “Criminal gangs are smuggling immigrants out of the UK,” Independent, January 21, 2013.

The United States Department of Justice announced that a husband and wife couple were smuggling people from Brazil into the United States for $16,000. The couple would create a cover story of the illegal migrants being tourists, and transported the people from Brazil to Paris, London, Bahamas and then by boat to the United States.

(See more human smugglers prices.)

Source:  “Brazilian Husband and Wife Plead Guilty in Florida to Human Smuggling,” United States Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, Press Release, January 16, 2013.


Federal law enforcement officials in the United States broke up a human smuggling ring where a Brazilian man was smuggling undocumented migrants from India into the United States. According to court documents, the man was charging people in India $60,000 to be smuggled into the United States.

The migrants would be transported from India through South and Central America on its route to the US. The Justice Department stated that the smugglers would move the migrants through all types of transportation methods, such as boat, plane, automobiles and by foot.

(More prices charged by human smugglers.)

Source:  “Brazilian pleads guilty to trafficking Indians into US,” Hindu, January 5, 2013.

During Fiscal Year 2012, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement found 490 illegal immigrants being kept in 37 drophouses in the Phoenix, Arizona area. The number found in FY 2012 was significantly lower than the amount found in FY 2008, where 3,221 illegal immigrants were found in 186 drophouses operated by human smugglers.

(Prices of human smuggling around the world.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Migrants found in drophouses sharply down,” Arizona Daily Star, December 20, 2012.

Between 2001 and 2012, at least 1,000 people have died by drowning in the waters between Indonesia and Australia as they were attempting to be smuggled into Australia to receive asylum.

Human smuggling activities is active in the waters off of Australia due to its asylum policy. In 2012, law enforcement officers in Australia broke up 65 human smuggling operations involving 2,900 people.

Source:  Peter Hirschberg, “Australia in Sri Lanka Talks to Curb People Smuggling, Carr Says,” Bloomberg, December 16, 2012.

In the 2012 Fiscal Year, the United States Customs and Border Protection apprehended 901 people from Romania along the US-Mexico border. The number arrested in 2012 was higher than the 575 Romanians apprehended in 20011, and the 384 people caught in 2010.

Law enforcement officials in the United States and Canada reported that the Romanians illegally enter the United States in order to eventually cross into Canada, where they attempt to gain asylum.

Source:  Associated Press, “Canada Targets Romanians Smuggling Gypsies,” NPR, December 5, 2012.

Migrants from Afghanistan who want to be smuggled into neighboring Iran pay human smugglers $700 to guide them across the border.

There are an estimated 1.4 million Afghanistan migrants working and living in Iran. The migrants send up to $500 Million back home to Afghanistan.

(See more human smuggling fees.)

Source:  Amie Ferris-Rotman, “Iran pushes out Afghans as regional power-play heats up,” Reuters, December 2, 2012.

An international human smuggling ring was broken up by Europol in November 2012 that was smuggling people from Iran in to various countries of the European Union.

According to criminal justice officials, the human smugglers were charging migrants $$23,315 (€18,000) to be transported by car from Iran into Turkey and Greece, where the migrants would then move across the EU.

Source:  “Iranian human smuggling ring busted in Europe,” Kuwait News Agency, November 27, 2012.

Police in Canada uncovered a human smuggling ring in October 2012 that was bringing people from Romania into Canada. The smugglers were charging between $10,000 to $30,000 (10,000 to 30,000 Canadian Dollars) to bring Romanians into Mexico, across the border into Texas, and then up the United States and into Toronto, Canada.

Romanians enter Canada and file for refugee status. In 2007, there were 57 refugee claims by Romanians in Canada. In 2011, the number of claims were up to 258.

Source:  Stewart Bell, “Alleged human smuggling ring brought Romanians to Canada via Mexico, police say,” National Post, October 25, 2012.