The pangolin black market is fueled by its scales, not its good looks

May 15, 2019
Pangolin scales are in demand primarily for traditional Chinese medicine.
A baby Sunda pangolin nicknamed 'Sandshrew' is taken out for feeding by Serena Oh, assistant director and head vet of Veterinary Services in Wildlife Reserves Singapore, at the Singapore Zoo on June 30, 2017. Sandshrew was brought to the Wildlife Health and Research Centre on January 16, reportedly found stranded in the Upper Thomson area by a member of the public. Sunda pangolins are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images

What North Korea looks like with capitalism "creeping in"

Jun 1, 2018
In 2016, writer Travis Jeppesen became the first American to study at a North Korean university.
Men push their bicycles past portraits of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang in 2017.
ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images

For many Haitians, street dispensaries are the only source of medicine

What’s a street dispensary? It’s “a sort of chemical Babel Tower,” according to Arnaud Robert, who reported on these Haitian pharmacies for the June 2017 issue of National Geographic. But the street vendors are not pharmacists, and their wares are not regulated. This illegal, ubiquitous medical practice can have serious consequences for the health of many […]

Inside the booming black market for bourbon

Jun 14, 2017
High demand and short supply mean some labels are all but unavailable in stores.
During the early 1920s, Old Pogue Distillery, (Mason County, Kentucky) sold limited quantities of its whiskey for medicinal purposes under the Old Jordan brand.
Adam Allington/Marketplace

Migration is a business on Mexico's southern border

Jul 8, 2016
As people and goods illegally cross the Mexico-Guatemala border, many profit.
The words read "Christ Lives." Migrants and goods such as oil and foodstuffs are transported illegally on a raft below a bridge that is an official port of entry between Mexico and Guatemala.
Lorne Matalon

In struggling Venezuela, cheap gas and food are smuggled out

Apr 11, 2016
Gas is so cheap that it can be sold at a profit in neighboring Colombia.
Long lines formed outside a Venezuelan gas station.
Jorge Galino/Marketplace

Venezuela's inflation woes are growing

Feb 23, 2016
Marketplace's Scott Tong reporting from Venezuela

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Smuggler’s Morgue

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Jan 14, 2016
Quartz and Marketplace go into the world of animal trafficking with this episode of Actuality
Confiscated wildlife products.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The biggest, baddest black markets in the US

Apr 24, 2015
A snapshot of what the black market says about us.

What can ISIS do with oil wells it captures?

Aug 28, 2014
The extremist group ISIS finances itself in part by selling oil on the black market