Some 200 different types of Kalashnikovs are now produced in at least 30 countries and vast numbers of the weapons have turned up in trouble spots all over the world for decades, especially in Africa. Hundreds of thousands of them disappeared after the breakup of Yugoslavia, often ending up in the hands of terrorists and criminals.
Considering that the black market is awash with AK-47s, how much would it cost to illegally buy one? A new report from Global Financial Integrity has some news on the shady world of arms smuggling and the cost of an AK-47 in several various countries. In Afghanistan, the gun could cost as little as $600 while on Mexico’s northern border with the U.S., the price would increase to $1,200. In Belgium where the Paris perpetrators obtained their Balkan Kalashnikovs, it has a price tag of about $1,135. An authentic model would cost $1,200 in Pakistan but a locally produced model can be obtained there for as little as $148. It is also possible to obtain an AK-47 through the darknet where costs typically range from $2,800 to $3,600.
According to the report, the price of an AK-47 raises the further it travels, with a smuggled rifle crossing the U.S.-Canada border anticipate to go up in price by as much as 560 percent. Illegal trafficking in small arms and light weapons is estimated to be worth $1.7 billion to $3.5 billion every year, equal to about 10% to 20% of the legal arms trade. With over a million Kalashnikovs still produced every year, one of the world’s leading killing machines is still set to be at the center of the global arms trade for decades to come.
Check out the infographic below.