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.

39 percent of men in Spain have visited the country’s prostitution industry at least once.

Source: Alasdair Fotheringham, “Spain, the world capital of prostitution?,” Independent, December 5, 2010.

Internet piracy in Spain cost content holders up to $7.3 Billion (5.2 Billion Euros) in revenue in the first half of 2010.

Music piracy caused $3.8 Billion (2.7 Billion Euros) in losses, with 97.8 percent of all music downloads illegally pirated.

Movie piracy caused $2.6 Billion (1.8 Billion Euros) in losses, with 77 percent of all movie downloads illegally pirated.

And video game piracy caused $369 Million (262 Million Euros) in losses, with 60 percent of all video games downloaded illegally pirated.

In comparison, $2.2 Billion (1.5 Billion Euros) were legally generated by the content industry online during the same period.

Source: Pamela Rolfe, “Report: Piracy Costs Spanish Film, Music Sectors Billions,” Hollywood Reporter, November 3, 2010.

In 2010, there were an estimated 300,000 women working as prostitutes in Spain.

Although prostitution is not illegally, profiting from the sale of a person is illegal.

Source: Fiona Govan, “Spanish prostitutes ordered to wear reflective vests for their own safety,” Daily Telegraph, October 25, 2010.

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Below are selected prices that are paid to professional assassins by criminal organizations and drug cartels for a contract hit.

In Australia, the median price to hire a hit man is $13,610 (9,800 Euros), with the price going up to $83,000 (60,000 Euros) based on the task.

In Mexico, the cost for a low level assassin is $208 (150 Euros), and up to $20,832 (15,000 Euros) for a higher profile target like a police chief.

The prices paid in Argentina are between $3,749 (2,700 Euros) to $5,555 (4,000 Euros) per hit.

Government statistics in Spain state that 40 assassinations take place each year, with prices for the hit ranging between $27 (20 Euros) to $69,000 (50,000 Euros).

(Click here for more contract killing prices.)

Source: Virdiana Ross, “Mexico: Assassins on the ‘Cheap’,” International Relations and Security Network, October 11, 2010.

Foreign citizens make up half of all arrests for organized crime in Spain, with many of them coming from Eastern Europe.

Source: “Spain’s Cocaine Trade Dominated by Bulgarians, Romanians,” Sofia News Agency, August 9, 2010.

Drug dealers on the Spanish island of Ibiza sell up to 40,000 ecstasy pills every day on the island during the summer months.

Criminal drug dealers from Liverpool and Manchester sell ecstasy pills for $6 (5 Euros). In comparison, a bottle of beer sells for $15 (12 Euros) at high end clubs on the island.

(Ecstasy pill prices around the world.)

Source: Fiona Govan, “Drug dealers sell 40,000 Ecstasy pills on Ibiza every day,” Telegraph, July 16, 2010.

45 percent of all cocaine seizures that took place in Europe between 1998 and 2008 took place in Spain, according to security officials.

(See more crime in Spain statistics.)

  Source: UNODC, “The Globalization of Crime,” Chapter 4: Cocaine, June 2010.

According to data in the United States Trafficking in Persons Report, victims of human trafficking in Spain make up to 90 percent of all women working as prostitutes in the country.

(See more statistics about crime in Spain.)

Source: US Department of State, “Country Narratives: Spain,” Trafficking in Persons Report 2010, June 2010.

In the second half of 2009, piracy in Spain cost $6.28 Billion (5.1 Billion Euros) to content producers. Legal sales in the country during the same period were $1.97 Billion (1.6 Billion Euros).

Movie piracy accounted for $2.95 Billion and music piracy for $2.83 Billion.

Of the digital music market, 95 percent is illegally downloaded.

Of the movie market, 83 percent of all movies are illegally downloaded.

53 percent of all video games are illegally downloaded.

And 19 percent of all digital books are pirated.

Source: Pamela Rolfe, “Piracy cost Spain $6 bil in 2nd half of ’09,” Hollywood Reporter, June 1, 2010.

Havocscope has calculated the possible financial value of drug trafficking in Spain to be $95 Billion based on the following data.

According to the Daily Mail (UK), 30 percent of all 500 Euro Bills in circulation were held in Spain. With 559 million individual 500 Euro notes in circulation, 167 million 500 Euro Bills were in Spain.

It has been well documented that drug traffickers favor the 500 Euro Bill due to its high denomination. It is much easier to move millions in drug revenue with the 500 Euro rather than a $100 Bill. Law enforcement officials in the United Kingdom stated that up to 90 percent of all 500 Euro Bills in circulation in the country have traveled through the hands of organized criminals.

Using the 167 million 500 Euro Bills in Spain and estimating that 90 percent of those bills were used for criminal purposes leads to 150 Million 500 Euro Bills in Spain from ill-gotten gains.

150 Million X 500 = 75 Billion Euros ($95 Billion based on May 19, 2010 exchange rate).

Spain is considered to be a key gateway to drugs entering the European Union, and this figure is in line with other European drug trade markets, such as the $83 Billion drug trade in Italy.

Please note that this figure is an estimate and it meant to show the possible amount of money involved in the drug trade in Spain. If you have additional data or another method to determine the drug trafficking market in Spain, please comment below.

Source: Caroline Graham and Adam Luck, “How the 500 euro is financing a global crime wave of cocaine trafficking, the black market and tax evasion,” Daily Mail, January 30, 2010.

and  Source: Dominic Casciani, “500 euro note – why criminals love it so,” BBC News, May 13, 2010.