Between January and November 2011, over 30,000 people from Afghanistan applied for asylum in countries around the world, according to an investigation by the Associated Press. Many of the who have left Afghanistan are believed to have paid a human smuggler to get them out of the country.
An Afghan pays around a few hundred dollars to be smuggled into neighboring Pakistan or Iran. The price increases to over $25,000 when attempting to be smuggled into London or Stockholm with fake identification.
In total, the human smuggling business out of Afghanistan and Pakistan is estimated to be a $1 Billion a year industry.
Source: Associated Press, “APNewsBreak: Afghan asylum bids at 10-year high, human smuggling rife as troops begin to leave,” Washington Post, January 21, 2012.