Thailand Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Thailand’s black market. Intelligence data and security threat information collected from news articles and public data sources.

Travel to Thailand

Security officers in Thailand arrested two men from Iran who were attempting to smuggle crystal meth pellets into the county. The two men had a total of 139 pellets filled with crystal meth that they swallowed in order to bring into Thailand. If the crystal meth was sold on the streets, officials say that the drugs would have been worth $113,000 (3.5 Million Thai Baht.)

(Additional crystal meth facts.)

The leader of the two men told police that he was to be paid between $1,943 to $2,923 (60,000 to 90,000 Thai Baht) by drug traffickers to bring in the drugs.

(How much does meth cost?)

Source:  “Two Iranians caught smuggling crystal meth,” Bangkok Post, June 9, 2013.

Migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos reportedly pay human smugglers up to $192 Million a year in order to be smuggled into Thailand. Most of the revenue for smugglers is generated from Myanmar, where migrants pays an estimated $183 Million to human smugglers to bring them into Thailand. Migrants from Cambodia pay $4.7 Million, and people from Laos pay $4.3 Million to the smugglers.

The United Nations estimates that over 500,000 people are smuggled into Thailand each year.

(Prices paid to human smugglers.)

Source: “Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment,” UNODC, April 2013, Executive Summary, page iv.

A threat assessment published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that there are 275 human trafficking victims in Cambodia and 3,750 victims of trafficking in Thailand each year. Each human trafficking victim generates up to $45,000 in gross revenue for the human trafficker, creating a market of $181 Million a  year.

(See more revenue by human traffickers here.)

Source: “Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment,” UNODC, April 2013, Executive Summary, page iv.


The US State Department reported that an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 women are working as prostitutes in Thailand.

In a 2013 report, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that the Ministry of Health in Thailand stated that there were 250,000 sex workers in the country.

Source: Newley Purnell, “Former ‘King of commercial sex’ turns anti-corruption crusader,” GlobalPost, July 2, 2011.

Source: “Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment,” UNODC, April 2013, Executive Summary, page iv.

Security officials in Thailand seized a record 82.2 million methamphetamine tablets in the country in 2012. The number of meth seized in 2012 was 66 percent higher than the amount seized in 2011.

(Facts about methamphetamine and amphetamine.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Rising drug trade threatens Myanmar’s aspirations,” Google News, March 25, 2013.

Security officials at Mumbai International Airport in India arrested a man from attempting to smuggled 97 tortoises in his luggage.

The man told security officials that he was paid $300 to travel with the bags to Bangkok, Thailand.

Source:  “Tortoise smuggling plan foiled at Mumbai airport,” News Track India, March 10, 2013.

Between 2009 to 2012, customs agents and other law enforcement agencies at Bangkok airport seized a total haul of 7 tons of ivory that was being smuggled into the country. The value of the ivory was estimated to be worth at least $7 Million.

Over 70 cargo flights land at Bangkok airport each day.

Source:  David Shukman, “Lab bids to combat species smuggling,” BBC News, March 4, 2013.

At the weekend market of Jatujak Plaza in Bangkok, Thailand,  many live animals are for sale to the public. According to a report by Al Jazeera, thousands of dogs, cats, rabbits, mice and guinea pigs are offered for sale.

In addition to the typical pets, exotic animals and protected endangered species are also openly available for sale by stall operators. For example, the reporter was offered a leopard tortoise for sale in the market for $403 (12,000 Thai Baht.) The vendor was unable to explain how to smuggle the tortoise back home.

(Complete list of exotic pets for sale on the black market.)

Source:  Kate Mayberry, “In the market for wildlife,” Al Jazeera, Asia Blog, March 3, 2013.

Between 2010 to 2013, environmental protection officers in Thailand seized over 46,000 animals that were being held by wildlife traffickers, venders and trappers. The number during the two year period is higher than the 18,000 animals that were rescued in the 2008 to 2010 time-period.

(Prices of animals in the illegal wildlife trade.)

Source:  Thomas Fuller, “A Burden of Care Over Seized Exotic Wildlife in Thailand,” New York Times, February 4, 2013.

The Bureau of Policy and Strategy of the National Anti-Corruption Commission in Thailand reported that it received 7,955 complaints of corruption in 2012.  The bureau estimates that the number of complaints will rise by 3,000 in 2013.

A survey bu the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce found that corruption accounted for 30 to 35 percent of government spending. Up to $11 Billion (300 Billion Baht) is lost to corruption in Thailand, according to the report.

(Bribes paid by country.)

Source:  “Corruption index slightly improved,” Bangkok Post, January 31, 2013.