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 in Mecca charge between $53 and $260 (200 to 1,000 Saudi Rials) to pilgrims making the annual trip to Mecca, known as the hajj.

People who attempt to enter Mecca are required to have special permits that allow them entrance. Smugglers state that the fees they charge are justified due to the time it takes to reach Mecca and the difficulty in traveling.

(See all human smuggling prices worldwide.)

Source:  “Human smuggling to Mecca thrives during hajj,” Al Arabiya, October 25, 2012.

Human smugglers based in Indonesia are able to earn between $1.02 Million (1 Million Australian) to $2.04 Million (2 Million AUD) per boat when charging people to be smuggled to Australia.

(See human smuggling fees)

Source:  Judith Ireland, “People smugglers not giving up, says Clare, Sydney Morning Herald, October 15, 2012.

30 percent of the job visas that are issued in Saudi Arabia end up being sold in the country’s black market.

There are over 2 million workers in Saudi Arabia who are holding job visas purchased on the black market.

Source:  “Visa black market is booming in Saudia Arbaia,” Al Bawaba, September 12, 2012.


According to law enforcement officials in Malaysia, the human smuggling business in the country is worth $323 Million (1 Billion Malaysian Ringgit).

The price to smuggle a person out of Malaysia by airplane is reported to be between $70,000 to $90,000.

(See more human smuggling prices here)

Source:  Farrah Naz Karim and Alang Bendahara, “Undeclared millionaires,” New Straight Times, September 11, 2012.

At the time of the uprising and civil war in Syria in 2011 to 2012, there were an estimated 10,000 foreign workers in Syria. According to the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, up to 90 percent of those workers were undocumented. They were in the country either through human smuggling activities or victims of human trafficking.

Source: Ayan Mellejor and Judy Quiros, “Rampant trafficking of OFWs in Syria uncovered,” Inquirer, September 9, 2012.

According to the United Nations, the reported price of an arraigned marriage  in order to obtain a Green Card by a Chinese citizen into the United States is between $60,000 to $70,000.

Smuggling a Chinese migrant into the United States without marriage was previously reported to cost $75,000 when traveling through Mexico.

(See more Human Smuggling Fees)

To smuggle a migrant from China into the European Union, human smugglers charge between $18,500 to $31,300.

Source:  “Migrant Smuggling in Asia: A Thematic Review of Literature,” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, August 2012.

There are over 50,000 unauthorized migrants estimated to be living in the United Kingdom, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. An additional 100,000 migrants are estimated to live in other cities across Europe, primary in the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland.

In South Korea, there are over 10,000 Vietnamese migrants working in the country unlawfully.

In total, around 850,000 Vietnamese migrants are working around the world without proper documentation.

Source:  “Migrant Smuggling in Asia: A Thematic Review of Literature,” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, August 2012.

According to the United Nations, migrants in Laos pay less than $190 for human smuggling services that brings them into Thailand. If the migrant were to use formal labor migration services, the cost would be between $490 to $590.

Thailand is considered a major destination for migrants from Laos.

(See more human smuggling fees)

Source:  “Migrant Smuggling In Asia: A Thematic Review of Literature,” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, August 2012.

Migrants from Pakistan who attempt to illegally enter the United States reportedly pay human smugglers between $18,000 to $26,000 to be smuggled into the US via Bangkok.

In the first half of the 2000s, migrants were paying smugglers $13,500 to be smuggled into the United Kingdom.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, most Pakistanis who are smuggled out of the country are single men who are 30 year old.

Source:  “Migrant Smuggling in Asia: A Thematic Review of Literature,” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, August 2012.

In 2011, a reported 2,706 North Koreans defected from the country and entered South Korea.

Between January and March 2012, there were 366 North Korean defectors. Between April and June 2012, there were 385 defections.

After the death of Kin Jong Il, the number of defections dropped by 42 percent in the first half of 2012. South Korean officials attribute the drop in defections to increased security. The crackdown on defections have caused the price to bribe a border guard to increase. In 2012, the cost of a bribe was reported to be $6,000, compared to $1,000 a few years ago.

It was previously reported that it costs a defector up to $7,000 to smuggle a person from North  Korea into China and eventually South Korea.

Source:  Chico Harlan, “With crackdown, N. Korea puts a hold on defectors,” Washington Post, July 20, 2012.