Spain Security Threats

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

According to security officials in Peru, drug traffickers offer people between $6,670 to $9,300 (€5,000 to €7,000) to smuggle illegal drugs into Spain.

A kilogram of cocaine sells for $45,000 in Europe.

In 2012, at least 248 foreigners were arrested at Peru’s Lima airport attempting to smuggle drugs to the United States, Europe and Asia. 62 of the arrested drug smuggles were from Spain.

(Price of cocaine by country.)

Source:  AFP, “Peruvian drug traffickers prey on young Europeans,” Google News, August 22, 2013.

A carton of cigarettes costs around 20 Euros in Gibraltar, a British territory located on the Southern end of Spain.

In Spain, that same carton of cigarettes is sold on the black market for double the price.

In a media report, cigarette smugglers stated that they are paid $13 (€10) per box oof 500 cigarettes. The smugglers use jet-skis to evade the police while smuggling the contraband into Spain.

Source:  AFP, “Gibraltar chases sea-borne tobacco smugglers,” Google News, August 16, 2013.

In August 2013, a human smuggling gang operating in Spain and France was broken up by police. The smuggling gang was charging Chinese migrants over $53,000 (€40,000) per person to be smuggled into Europe. The migrants would eventually settle in the United Kingdom or the United States.

Included in the fee would be fake passports and instructions on how to act like a tourist to avoid extra attention at border checkpoints.

The $53,000 fee is in line with previous reports made by the United Nations on Drugs and Crime, which stated that Chinese migrants pay around $50,000 to be smuggled into the United States.

(See all human smuggling prices charged by smugglers.)

Source:  “‘Human trafficking ring’ broken up,” BBC News, August 10, 2013.


Police agencies in Spain seized 20.7 tonnes of cocaine and 325.5 tonnes of hashish in 2012. The amount of cocaine seized was roughly 25 percent higher than the amount seized in 2011. The amount of hashish was down 8.5 percent from 2011.

The amount of cocaine seized in Spain represented 41 percent of all cocaine and 73 percent of all hashish seized in Europe in 2012.

Source:  AFP, “Spain fights to lose status as drug gateway to Europe,” Google News, April 22, 2013.

In 2011, criminal justice agencies in the European Union seized 2.1 million counterfeit toys.  According to a breakdown by Toy News, five countries in the EU accounted for 57 percent of those seizures.

Top five EU member states where fake toys were seized in 2011:

1. Romania:  319,174 counterfeit toys seized.

2. Germany:  308,506 counterfeit toys seized.

3. France:  212,273 counterfeit toys seized.

4. Spain:  193,149 counterfeit toys seized.

5.  Bulgaria:  181,838 counterfeit toys seized.

Source:  Dominic Sacco, “Romania is counterfeit toy capital of Europe,” Toy News, April 18, 2013.

Security personnel at Madrid-Barajas Airport detained 398 people for attempting to smuggle drugs into Spain.

A total of 45 million passengers traveled through the airport in 2012.

Source:  AFP, “Police seize cocaine in luggage at Madrid airport,” GlobalPost, March 20, 2013.

Pirated ebooks in Spain caused the book industry  to lose up to $467 Million (€350 Million) in revenue, according to a report by the Federation of Publishers’ Associations and the ISBN Agency of Spain.

Book publishing in Spain is a €3 Billion industry.

(More statistics on pirated books and ebook piracy here.)

Source:  “Piracy Taking Big Bite out of Books in Spain?,” Digital Book World, January 22, 2013.

The Justice Ministry of Brazil reported that it has found around 500 people who have been victims of human trafficking between 2005 and 2012.

Out of the total number of victims, 337 involved sexual exploitation.

The victims were trafficked out of Brazil and were operating in Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

(See human trafficking prices)

Criminal justice officials stated that over half of the human trafficking networks were managed by women who deceived the victims.

Source:  EFE, “Some 500 Brazilians have been victims of people trafficking since 2005,” Fox News Latino, October 16, 2012.

A study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, cocaine use in cities in Switzerland is among the highest in Europe.

Everyday, up to 1.5 grams of cocaine is consumed by every 1,000 citizens in the Swiss cities of Bern, Geneva, Lucerne and Zurich.

In other European cities such as Barcelona, London, Milan and Paris, between 0.5 to 1 grams of cocaine is used by every 1,000.

Norther European cities had the lowest reported levels of cocaine use, with Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki registering 0.15 grams of cocaine use daily per 1,000 residents.

Across Europe, up to 356 kilograms of cocaine is consumed each day, which is 10 to 15 percent of the total global cocaine consumption.

(More cocaine facts and statistics.)

Source:  AFP, “Cocaine use in Swiss cities among highest in Europe: report,” Google News, August 6, 2012.

In an interview with the BBC, a pickpocket working in the Spanish city of Barcelona claimed that he is able to make up to $6,132 (5,000 Euros) a week by pickpocketing tourists. They take cameras, cell phones and laptops and send them back to Romania where the merchandise is sold on the black market.

There are about 50 Romanian pickpockets working in Barcelona.

(See more income from under the table jobs.)

Source:  Chris Rogers, “Olympics: Pickpockets show off ‘one-second theft’,” BBC News, July 18, 2012.