Black market is considered to be the second richest economy in the world after the United States of America with an estimation of more than $10 trillion, if formally tallied. These illegal outlets of commerce include anything from illegal weapons, drugs and copyright materials to exotic animals and human body parts.
Black Market especially targets places with high organized crimes and poverty and places with low resources and taxes rates. Black market continues to flourish due to continued demand for regulated items. The most expensive and coveted items sold on black market are mentioned below:
Human trafficking is one of the most lucrative forms of organized crimes which generate an estimated $32 billion each year according to the data from UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Prostitutes and child laborers are sold more often in the black market. Each year, about 2.4 million people are trapped and transported to different countries creating huge profits for the traffickers.
Human Body Parts
The most commonly sold human body parts are blood, bones, hair, sperm, kidneys and several other organs. Thousands of donors are willing to sell their body parts in exchange for cash especially in poor and developing countries. An estimated 10% of organ transplants are done using illegally acquired ones contributing about 107,000 transplants in 2010 alone according to World Health Organization.
Exotic Animals And Their Body Parts
The black market trades living wild animals, birds and reptiles, most of which are rare for a huge amount of money. Body parts such as rhino horns, elephant tusks, antelope scarves and tiger bones are sold on the black market to people interested in the aphrodisiac and healing elements of these parts. Animal parts are also used in making jewellery, clothing and souvenirs which are favoured by the elite families. Poachers and smugglers want certain species to go extinct so that their products’ market values can skyrocket.
Weapons and Gadgets
The illegal market trades guns, bombs, modern spy gadgets and even nuclear weapons which has been sustaining the criminal gangs and communist countries around the globe. The smuggling of weapons across country lines opened up the market for purchases to be made without any brokers involved in the middle. According to recent research, people in some countries can access weapons and high-tech gadgets via internet and have them delivered to their doorsteps. Buying exotic and rare guns is also a common practice among the elites.
The demand for unregulated prescription drugs is very high among drug addicts as they are cheaper than other drugs. Prescription drugs are accessible through pharmacies and dispensaries despite strict regulations of these drugs. Thousands of these outlets are raided every year which increases the demand of prescription drugs on the black market. According to research, more than five million people abuse narcotic painkillers in the U.S. alone. Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and several other prescription painkillers are among the most abused drugs with over four thousands deaths in the year 2010, according to Medical Examiner’s Office.
The illegal trade of organic drugs has been flourishing on the black market for a very long time. The most commonly sold drugs on the black market are marijuana, cocaine, heroin and hallucinogenic mushrooms which are also the most expensive ones. World Drug Report estimated that the global trade of these drugs is worth almost 1% of the world GDP. In 2003 alone, the illicit drug market was estimated to be of more than $320 billion. Statistics shows that most of the violent crimes across the world are directly linked to drugs.
The illegal trade of crude oil has been one of the major part of the black market. Oil resources and pipelines have been sabotaged by black market tycoons who then sell the oil in barrels on the black market. The top five countries involved in trafficking oil on the black market are Nigeria, Mexico, Iraq, Russia and Indonesia. In 2010, Petroleos Mexicanos, which is a government oil monopoly detected 712 pipeline oil thefts in Mexico. The black market supplies more than $130 billion worth of crude oil.
Pirated Software And Media
Illegal distributions of expensive software, programs, movies, music and other forms of copyright materials account for a large source of revenue on the black market. The market for counterfeit software and pirated media is huge in countries such as China. A study conducted by the Business Software Alliances reports that pirated software has eliminated 2.4 million jobs and generated economy activities worth more than $400 billion worldwide.
Diamonds And Gold
The black market of diamond and gold generates a huge economy worth billions of dollar each year. Blood diamonds and gold are often mined in warzones using forced labor and sold in international market to finance insurgency or warlord’s activity. More than 20% of the total production is said to be traded on the international black market. The major countries participating in such activities are Angola, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Republic of Congo, Colombia and Peru.
Fake Cosmetics and Clothing
The black market of fake cosmetics and clothing is flourishing with time as the market trades replicas of well-known and trending brands. The counterfeit sellers will often take a brand’s trademark and use the same to depict their own fraudulent product. People sell their fake products in much cheaper prices attracting a huge number of customers. The use of these cosmetics can result in serious medical conditions, allergic reaction, tissue damage and infections as there is absolutely zero regulations on their manufacture.