Drug trafficking in Laos creates a black market in illegal drugs worth $750 Million, or 10 percent of the country’s GDP, according to government officials in 2009.
Between 1998 and 2010, the tiger population in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma/Myanmar dropped 70 percent, from 1,200 tigers in 1998 to 350 in 2010.
Up to 30,000 dogs are smuggled on the black market across borders from Thailand and into Vietnam and Laos to be sold for its meat. The dogs are sold by traffickers for an average of $10 a dog, thus creating an estimated $3.6 Million black market.
Drug trafficking in Laos is estimated to be between $350 Million and $700 Million. The drug trafficking industry in Laos is estimated to be equal to 10 percent of the country’s GDP of $4 Billion.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released the potential value of opium production for the following countries based on farm-gate prices. Myanmar: $123 Million. Laos: $11.8 Million. Thailand: $5.6 Million. (See additional heroin facts and statistics.) Source: UNODC, “Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia,” December 2008.
In early 2009, the price for a kilo of opium trafficked out of a farm in Northern Laos (a portion of the Golden Triangle) was $1,400.