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

According to media reports, a pirated copy of Microsoft Office Software is available for purchase on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand for about $9.70 (300 Thai Baht). A legitimate version of Microsoft Office would cost $200.

Software piracy in Thailand is estimated to cause losses of $852 Million a year.

(Software piracy losses by country.)

Source:  Patrick Winn, “Running bootleg software in Asia? Beware U.S. lawsuits,” Global Post, October 23, 2012.

In 2011, there were 5.3 murders per 100,000 from firearms in Thailand. In comparison, there were 0.2 murders per 100,000 by firearms in the Philippines.

People in Thailand can purchase a gun on the black market for $2,600.

(See prices of AK-47 on the black market.)

People under the age of 20 in Thailand are unable to own a gun in the country. However, between 2003 and 2012, the number of young people caught carrying firearms in the country increased by 32 percent.

Source:  Amy Sawitta Lefevre, “Friendly Thailand stares down the barrel of rising gun crime,” Reuters, October 21, 2012.

Up to 30,000 dogs are smuggled from Thailand across the border and eventually  end up for sale on the black market in Vietnam.

Butchers who work with the meat offer dog meat for sale to the public for $26 to $32 (800 to 1,000 Thai Baht.)

The dogs that are targeted by smugglers are not strays, but healthier dogs that are kept as pets.

(See more exotic pet prices.)

Source:  “Out of the meat trade, into agony,” Bangkok Post, October 21, 2012.

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Human trafficking experts in Thailand report that the age of the youngest girls in the prostitution industry in Thailand are between the ages of 11 to 15. Many of the girls enters the prostitution trade to make money for their families.

Victims of human trafficking who are forced to work in the sex trade are trafficked from Northern and Northeast Thailand, as well as from China and Laos.

Source:  “Thailand remains major centre for human trafficking,” Asia One, June 28, 2012.

A leader of an Non-Governmental organization in Thailand who works with child trafficking victims estimates that there are around 1,000 children being forced to work as beggars and flower sellers across popular tourist destinations in Thailand.

In addition, the Chief Technical Adviser for the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia states that many children are sold or rented out to traffickers to make money. The typical price to rent out a child in Thailand is $25 a month.

(More underground economy income and profits.)

Source:  IRIN/Pak Kred, “Children trafficked to sell flowers and beg in Thailand,” Gulf Times, June 5, 2012.

The Government of Thailand estimates that there are up to 1.2 million people in the country who are addicted to methamphetamine.

The number of users contributed to an increase in meth seizures by Thai police. Between October 2011 to March 2012, authorities in Thailand seized 31.3 million methamphetamine pills. The number of pills seized during that time period was 45 percent higher than the 21.6 million meth pills seized the year before.

(How much does meth cost)

Source:  Thomas Fuller, “Drug Surge Clouds Myanmar Reform Effort,” New York Times, May 14, 2012.

Up to 48.3 million cold pills were stolen from hospitals in Thailand in 2011, according to a media report. The cold pills are believed to have been stolen in order to used in the production of methamphetamine.

(Additional facts about meth addiction and trafficking.)

Law enforcement in Thailand report that a single cold pill is able to make up to 4 methamphetamine tablets. Each meth tablet is then sold on the black market for $6.

See more meth prices here.

Source:  Richard S. Ehrlich, “Massive Drug Smuggling in Thailand,” Asia Sentinel, May 4, 2012.

Drug smuggling gangs are undercutting the crystal meth market in Thailand by selling the drug at a cheaper price then the Myanmar drug dealers.

Police report that traffickers from Iran are selling a kilogram of crystal meth in Thailand for $26,000 (800,000 Thai Baht), undercutting the Myanmar traffickers, who sell a kilogram of crystal meth for $81,000 (2.5 Million Thai Baht).

The Iranians are able to sell their drugs at a cheaper price due to using lesser amounts of pseudoephedrine.

(How much does meth cost?)

Source:  “Cops fret as Africa, Iran dealers push meth locally,” Bangkok Post, April 16, 2012.

Environmental protections officials have stated that poachers have been killing elephants in Thailand’s national parks for the purpose of wildlife trafficking. The poachers kill the elephants mainly for their ivory tusks, which can be sold for $1,500 per kilogram on the black market as of February 2012. In addition to the tusks, the elephant’s meat and genitals are sold to smugglers as exotic foods and for use in traditional medicine across Asia.

Not all elephants that are seen by poachers are killed. In addition to the body parts, elephants that are alive are a profitable product for the traffickers. According to wildlife officials, baby elephants are a lucrative item to sell on the black market due to its high demand. Traffickers are able to sell a baby elephant for up to $7,000 to customers who want to use the elephant in Thailand’s bustling tourism industry. In order to get the baby elephant, poachers and traffickers must first kill the adult elephant that is protecting the baby.

(See more prices of exotic animals and other endangered species sold in the illegal wildlife trade.)

Source:  Daniel Schearf, “Thai Wildlife Group Raided for Criticizing Elephant Poaching,” Voice of America, February 22, 2012.

A political party leader in Thailand and former massage parlor owner stated that the prostitution industry in Thailand is earns over $6.4 Billion (200 Billion Thai Baht) a year in revenue. The amount generated by the sex trade in Thailand is equal to roughly 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

(More prostitution revenue by country.)

Source:  “Party leader demands Thai govt take action to stamp out prostitution,” Asia One, February 13, 2012.