1. Lebanon $0.0875 Billion ($87.5 Million)

  2. Black Market Crime in Lebanon

Lebanon Security Threats

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

According to various news reports, a man from Lebanon was offering people up to $55,000 if they were a match for a liver transplant.

The man, reportedly a mayor from a Lebanon city, arraigned for various people to have a liver compatibility test in Valencia, Spain. The tests reportedly cost $16,000 to conduct. After a match was found, the mayor reportedly offered up to $55,000 to the person in order for the liver transplant operation to take place.

Due to the ban on paying for organ transplants, the operation did not take place.

(Additional liver, kidneys and organs trade prices.)

Source:  Al Goodman, “Lebanese mayor arrested in Spain, accused of attempted organ trafficking,” CNN, March 12, 2014.

Clients of male prostitutes in Lebanon reportedly pay about $200 on average for a Lebanese escort. Due to the conflict in neighboring Syria, there has been an increase of Syrian men working as prostitutes in Beirut. The reported price for a Syrian male escort is $50 on average.

Most of the male escorts in Beirut cater to gay men. In a report by Al Jazeera, gay social networks such as Grindr has helped escorts and customers find each other. 40 percent of the Lebanese male escorts identify themselves as heterosexual. The rate for Syrian male escorts is 68 percent.

Thousands of men are estimated to be working as male escorts in Beirut.

(Prices of prostitutes around the world.)

Source:  Paul Du Verdie, “Male prostitution on the rise in Lebanon,” Al Jazeera, February 14, 2014.

According to media reports, the price to buy a tablet of Captagon in Syria is between $5 to $20.

The market for Captagon in the Middle East has increased in recent years as the war in Syria has continued. Criminal justice officials believe that Syria produced the most Captagon tablets in 2013, surpassing Lebanon as the main producer of the amphetamine tablet in the Middle East.  Drug traders estimate that up to 90 percent of the production in Lebanon has decreased as the production moved into Syria.

(Methamphetamine facts about users and abuse.)

However, the trafficking of Captagon pills is still high in Lebanon. Security forces seized over 12.3 million pills in 2013, with most of the large busts taking place in areas near the border of Syria.

In May 2013, Turkish security seized 7 million Captagon pills that were on its way to Saudi Arabia, with Turkish security agencies stating that the pills were made in Syria.

In December 2013, police in Dubai seized a record 4.6 million Captagon pills.

Source:  Stephen Kalin, “Insight: War turns Syria into major amphetamines producer, consumer,” Reuters, January 12, 2013.


As the conflict in Syria continues, refugees continue to turn to the black market in order to survive and generate money. It was previously reported that women were turning to prostitution, and the men were selling their daughters to other men.

In November 2013, it was reported that refugees from Syria were selling their kidneys in Lebanon to brokers in order to make money. According to a report in Der Spiegal, a man stated that he sold his kidney for $7,000. The customers who purchased the kidney and pay for the operations reportedly pays $15,000.

The kidney broker who arranges the transactions gets a $700 commission.

According to a kidney broker in the region, there are more sellers than buyers in the region.

(More prices of organs and kidney trafficking on the black market.)

Source:  Ulrike Putz, “Lebanese Black Market: Syrian Refugees Sell Organs to Survive,” Spiegal Online, November 12, 2013.

Various criminal justice programs across the Middle East have seen a rise in the amphetamine market in recent years. The trade name of the drug is called Captagon, which was originally created to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The drug was banned from most countries back in 1986, yet cheaper versions containing amphetamine are easily produced and trafficked.

The pills costs pennies to manufacture in factories located in Lebanon, and can be sold for up to $20 in Saudi Arabia. Each year, Saudi security agencies seized nearly 55 million Captagon pills each year on average, with security officials estimated that the seized amount only represents 10 percent of all pills being trafficked into the country. Three-quarters of all drug treatment patients in Saudi Arabia are addicted to methamphetamine and Captagon.

(Additional facts about crystal meth abuse.)

In a single month in 2013, government security agencies in Lebanon confiscated over $200 Million worth of Captagon pills in the country.

In December 2012, government forces in Syria seized a factory in the city of Homs that was storing 18,000 Captagon pills. Intelligence officials believe that proceeds from the illegal drug trade is helping to fund both anti-Asaad rebels as well as Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militia who is fighting on behalf of President Assad.

(More: How much does meth cost?)

Source:  Aryn Baker, “Syria’s Breaking Bad: Are Amphetamines Funding the War?,” Time, October 28, 2013.

In the illegal wildlife trade market in Lebanon, the price that customers can purchase a tiger is between $5,000 to $10,000, according to animal welfare charity Animal Lebanon.

In addition to tigers, other animals available on the black market of Lebanon include lion cubs, chimpanzees, crocodiles, African parrots and monkeys.

(Additional prices of black market animals.)

Source:  Rayanne Abou Jaoude, “Illegal animal trafficking running rampant in Lebanon,” Daily Star, July 31, 2013.

According to the Internal Security Force, most human trafficking victims discovered in Lebanon are people from Syria.

In 2009, out of the total 86 human trafficking victims found in Lebanon, 56 of them were from Syria.

In 2010, there were 8 victims from Syria in 2010, and 27 Syrian victims in 2011 and 2012.

In the first half of 2013, a reported 16 Syrians were identified as victims of human trafficking in Lebanon.

Due to the conflict in Syria, many women are turning to prostitution in the refugee camps and increasing the risks of human trafficking.

Source:  Samya Kullab, “Whether survival sex or prostitution, Syria’s poorest refugees face grim choices,” Daily Star, July17, 2013.

According to intelligence by security service officials in Lebanon, at the beginning of 2013 there were at least 37 active kidnappers who were targeting  members of wealthy families. All of the kidnappers were connected to known crime families and organizations.

One member of a kidnapping group told a reporter from GlobalPost that the kidnappers target businessmen that are wealthy, but not too rich where they would be able to hire private security guards. The target would be monitored for two weeks before the act took place. While in captivity, the hostage would be well fed and treated as a “guest”.

The family of a kidnapping hostage reportedly paid a ransom of $25,000 in February after their 12 year old son was kidnapped.

(More kidnapping and ransom payments here.)

Source:  Jeff Neumann, “The new business of Lebanon: kidnapping,” GlobalPost, March 1, 2013.

Piracy of paid television in the Arab region causes losses of $500 Million a year, according to a media research firm. 8 percent of Arab households that watch television actually pay for the services through cable or satellite. The remaining 92 percent of views in the region pirate the broadcast.

In Lebanon, an estimated 99 percent of television viewers are pirating their cable signal. In Egypt, around 10 million households are receiving pirated cable feeds.

Source: Ben Flanagan, “Piracy hijacks growth of pay-TV,” National, November 3, 2011.

Police in Lebanon seized 400 ecstasy tablets  in 2008. In 2009, an increase in the drug trade led to 17,312 ecstasy tablets being seized.

(More facts about ecstasy drug abuse and trafficking.)

Source: AFP, “Ecstasy a growing rave in Lebanon drug market,” Google News, July 1, 2010.