1. Ukraine $4.310 Billion

  2. Black Market Crime in Ukraine

Ukraine Security Threats

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

According to an investigation conducted by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), there are around 2,500 illegal mining pits located across Ukraine. Most of the illegal “kopanki” pits are located in the Donbas region near Donetsk. Experts in the mining industry estimate that tens of thousands of illegal miners are working in these pits.

The Trade Union of the Coal Miners in Ukraine estimate that between 6 to 7 million tons of coal is illegally extracted from these mines each year. With the average price of a ton of coal being $100, the illegal coal mined from Ukraine could be worth up to $700 Million per year.

7 million tons of coal represents 11 percent of the country’s total coal output.

Source:  Denys Kanzansky and Serhly Harmash, “Ukraine’s Illegal coal mines: dirty, dangerous, deadly,” Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, May 26, 2014.

Over the span of 10 years, thousands of people have been killed due to religious and ethnic violence in the Central Nigerian region known as the Middle Belt.

Contributing to the violence is an estimated 5,000 firearms that were illegally trafficked into the area. Out of those illicit arms, about 3,500 are AK-47s that were produced in France and Ukraine and smuggled to Nigeria. The remaining 1,500 are locally produced firearms.

(Prices of AK-47s and other weapons on the black market.)

Source:  Alexis Okeowo, “The Arms-Trade Treaty and the Gun Seller,” New Yorker, September 9, 2013.

A report by an online advertising and Internet security firm stated that up to $9.5 Billion in online advertising in 2013 could be wasted by displaying ads to bot traffic.

Up to 46 percent of Web-based ad impressions in 2013 could be displayed to suspicious and malicious traffic that is controlled by botnets. 35 percent of mobile-based ad impressions may be bots as well, according to Solve Media.

In 2012, the rate of ad impression for the web and mobile was 43 percent and 22 percent.

The report stated that the highest levels of suspicious traffic for Web-based ads originated from China, Venezuela and Ukraine. For mobile-based ads, the bot traffic originated from Singapore, Macau and Qatar.

In the United States, 44 percent of web-based ad impressions was considered suspicious in the second quarter of 2013, and 22 percent for mobile-based ads.

Source:  Brian Donohue, “Report: Online Ads Waste $9.5B in 2013,” Threatpost, September 9, 2013.


As previously reported, there are between 11,000 to 15,000 teenagers working as prostitutes in Ukraine, according to date by UNICEF.

Of the total number of teenagers working as prostitutes, 62 percent were having unprotected sex in 2008. In 2011, the number of teenagers having unprotected sex as prostitutes in Ukraine dropped to 40 percent.

The Makolayiv region in Southern Ukraine has one of the highest levels of HIV-related deaths in the age group of 15 to 24 year olds.

Source:  AFP, “Ukrainian teen prostitutes find way back into society,” Google News, June 15, 2013.

According to the Kyiv Motorist Club, one out of every three liters of fuel sold in Ukraine is substandard or counterfeit.

The motor club conducted tests at major gas stations and found that 30 percent of the gas did not meet Ukraine or Euro standards.

According to energy experts, the number of filling stations that are checked by Ukrainian officials between 2008 and 2013 fell by a rate of 2.8 times.

Source:  “Every third liter of petrol at Ukrainian filling stations is counterfeit, says study,” Interfax-Ukraine, June 5, 2013.

UNICEF estimates that there are around 11,000 to 15,000 teenage girls who are working as prostitutes in Ukraine.

At the same time, the country is also facing one of the worst HIV/AIDS epidemic in Europe, and many teenage girls are becoming infected. In Southern Ukraine, people in the age group of 15-24 die from HIV complications at one of the highest rates in the country.

A charity service that works with UNICEF tested 350 female clients for the HIV virus and discovered that 10 percent was infected.

The sex trade in Ukraine is estimated to generate up to $1.5 Billion a year.

Source:  “Teen prostitution in Ukraine,” euronews, May 31, 2013.

Custom officials in Ukraine seized over 120 million cigarettes that were being smuggled into the country in 2011. Officials report that 90 percent of the smuggled cigarettes seized was produced in Moldova.

Between 15 to 20 percent of all tobacco smoked in Ukraine were purchased illegally on the black market, causing a tax loss of $2 Billion per year.

Source: “Ukraine customs see growth in tobacco products smuggling<,” Focus News, April 26, 2012.

The rate of cigarette smuggling in Romania decreased to 11.8 percent in September 2011, down from the 15.7 percent reported in the early summer of 2011. Tobacco smuggling is still down from the previous high of 30 percent in 2010.

According to criminal justice officials, the cigarettes that are smuggled into Romania originate from neighboring countries such as Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine.

Source: Otilia Haraga, “Tobacco excise tax collection totals EUR 1.27bln after Q3. Cigarette smuggling declines,” Business Review, October 11, 2011.

Cigarette smuggling in Ukraine led to 15 to 20 percent of all cigarettes smoked in the country to have entered through the black market without proper documentation and taxation.

Source: “Cigarette smuggling growing in Ukraine,” Kyiv Post, December 16, 2010.

Three doctors in Ukraine were arrested for selling the kidneys of human trafficking victims to wealthy buyers on the black market. The kidneys were sold for $100,000 to $200,000.

Source: Daryna Krasnolutska, “Ukraine Police Break Up International Ring Selling Kidneys for $200,000,” Bloomberg, October 15, 2010.