LITHUANIA: Illegal Activities: Prostitution, Smuggling of Tobacco, Smuggling and Production of Illegal Alcoholic Beverages, and Drugs 


On the basis of the methodological requirements and concepts fixed in the European system of accounts (ESA 2010) and according to the European Commission’s recommendations, four types of illegal activities are being investigated in Lithuanian National Accounts (LNA) produced by Statistics Lithuania. These are:

  • Prostitution;
  • Smuggling of tobacco;
  • Smuggling and production of illegal alcoholic beverages;
  • Drugs;

A decision to investigate exactly this set of illegal activities is also based on consumption habits of Lithuanians, economic and social aspects, geographical location of the country and other factors. The performed analysis showed that the most common cases are when smuggled tobacco, alcoholic beverages and drugs are consumed inside the country while sexual services are provided both inside the country (to the foreigners as well) and abroad. Therefore, the adjustments to imports of goods and services and exports of services are made as well.

Scope, Methodology, Compilation Practices, and Data Sources


Offering of all kind of sexual services in Lithuania is forbidden by law. The Handbook on Measuring the Non-Observed Economy suggests making estimations of the total supply and total use of prostitution services. It is hardly possible to find reliable data sources on final use by residents and use by non-residents; therefore, this split is based on assumptions. The estimates of the total supply of prostitution services are made using the following formula:

Supply = persons providing sexual services * average earnings.

The calculations of prostitution are based on all possible data sources and a number of assumptions which are analysed and crosschecked.

While supervising the peculiarities of the prostitution phenomenon in Lithuania, it was decided to classify the total estimated number of persons providing sexual services into three groups. The different hourly rate of sexual services, number of clients and number of working days per year was applied for those three groups.


Only smuggling of cigarettes is investigated. Production inside the country is not evaluated because the phenomenon is not widespread.

The total amount of cigarettes (including the illegal part) consumed by households is estimated. According to the available data sources, the scheme used for the determination of the illegal part of consumed cigarettes is as follows:

Total amount of consumed cigarettes – legal cigarettes = illegal cigarettes.

The main data source used for estimating the total consumption of cigarettes is the survey made by the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department. The survey was performed in 2004, 2008 and 2012 on the basis of the methodology prepared by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Based on the results of the interview, the amount of smokers and their smoking intensity is identified for each age group.

In parallel, supplementary information on Lithuanians’ smoking habits from other available data sources is used.


Three main groups of illegal alcoholic drinks are distinguished. The first one includes strong (most often, vodka) drinks smuggled from neighbouring countries; the second one includes poor quality diluted strong drinks (inside the country); and the last one – sufficient quality home-made vodka produced inside the country. All types of illegal drinks are consumed inside the country.

The estimates of the total consumption of alcoholic beverages, including illegal drinks, are mainly based on the 2004, 2008 and 2012 survey conducted by the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department.

Total consumption of all alcoholic drinks (as absolute alcohol, in litres) is estimated for consumers divided into three age groups, examining four main types of drinks: vodka, beer, wine, and alcoholic cocktails. Information on legally sold alcoholic beverages, available from an annual statistical survey on trade and catering enterprises, and additional data sources mentioned above are used for the illegal part.

Data on alcohol consumption are available for the years 2004, 2008 and 2012. To make estimations for missing years, changes in the population are used for the extrapolation of the number of alcohol consumers.

The estimates are made according to the scheme below:

Total amount of drinks consumed – legal drinks = illegal drinks

The total amount of estimated illegal alcohol, expressed as absolute alcohol, is divided into three types of illegal drinks on the basis of the seized amount, provided by law enforcement institutions such as the Police Department and Lithuanian Customs.


The sale, production, marketing, promotion and use of all drugs are illegal in Lithuania. The total consumption of seven types of drugs is estimated in LNA. According to the habits of drug consumption in Lithuania, the following types are taken into the estimates:

  • Cannabis;
  • Ecstasy;
  • Amphetamine;
  • Cocaine;
  • Heroin;
  • LSD;
  • Poppy concentrate.

The main data source used for evaluating the consumption of drugs is the survey made by the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department.

The quantity of consumed seven types of drugs is estimated as presented below:

Consumption of drug = number of users * drug use intensity * size of consumed dose.

The estimated amount for each type of drugs is expressed in doses and kilograms for the surveyed years. To fill in the missing years between the surveys, changes in the population is used for the extrapolation of the number of drug users. The performed analysis of the phenomenon by the type of drug allows making several assumptions on splitting the smuggled and the domestically produced amounts.

Linkages Across Statistical Domains

Estimates of four illegal activities are produced by experts of national accounts of Statistics Lithuania and the results are provided to the compilers of balance of payments (BOP) in Bank of Lithuania. The estimated data on illegal activities are included in both NA and BOP statistics.

Due to annual data on illegal goods prepared by national accounts compilers, the BOP compilers makes estimations according to the imports of goods and the structure of illegal activities in order to receive monthly and quarterly data. Estimated data on illegal goods (tobacco, drugs and alcohol) are included in monthly and quarterly imports of goods of BOP. Furthermore, estimated data on prostitution are incorporated in the BOP services account under travel item. Since 2010 annual volume of exports of prostitution have amounted around 2 % of total travel exports and, imports amounted about 0.5%.