The evolution of the drug and arms trade in the global community

Drug trafficking Introduction Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. UNODC is continuously monitoring and researching global illicit drug markets in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their dynamics. Drug trafficking is a key part of this research.

The evolution of the drug and arms trade in the global community

Cocaine is produced in the South American Andean countries of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia; Colombia is the source of an estimated 90 percent of the cocaine supply in the US market. Fueled by high-purity, low-cost heroin introduced into the US market by Southeast Asian and Colombian traffickers, heroin use in the United States increased significantly in the early-to-mid s and has leveled off in recent years.

The purity of heroin currently available in the United States is higher than ever. Colombia and Mexico account for about 75 percent of the US heroin market, with heroin from Southeast Asia making up most of the remainder.

The use of synthetic drugs in the United States, many of which come from abroad, has become a more significant problem over the last decade.

Beginning in the s, there has been a dramatic surge in the worldwide production and consumption of synthetic drugs--particularly amphetamine-type stimulants, including methamphetamine and ecstasy.

There has been a significant increase in methamphetamine production in Southeast Asia in recent years. Although little has found its way to the US market from Southeast Asia, increasing quantities of "Thai Tabs" have been seized in the western United States.

Most of the ecstasy in the US market is produced in the Netherlands. Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, and Paris are major European hubs for transshipping ecstasy to foreign markets, including the United States.

US law enforcement reporting indicates that the Dominican Republic, Suriname, and Curacao are used as transshipment points for US-bound ecstasy from Europe and that Mexican and South American traffickers are becoming involved in the ecstasy trade. For FYmore than 9. Marijuana remains the most widely used and readily available illicit drug in the United States.

It is the gateway drug for nearly all users of more dangerous illicit drugs. While most of the marijuana consumed in the United States is from domestic sources, including both outdoor and indoor cannabis cultivation in every state, a significant share of the US market is met by marijuana grown in Mexico, with lesser amounts coming from Jamaica, Colombia, and Canada.

Very little of the cannabis grown in other major producers--including Morocco, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Thailand, and Cambodia--comes to the United States.

The evolution of the drug and arms trade in the global community

Insome metric tons of marijuana were seized entering the United States, most of which came from Mexico. Drug-Trafficking Networks International drug-trafficking organizations have extensive networks of suppliers and front companies and businesses to facilitate narcotics smuggling and laundering of illicit proceeds.

Colombian and Mexican trafficking organizations dominate the drug trade in the Western Hemisphere. Colombia supplies most of the cocaine and contributes the largest share of heroin to the US market, and Mexico is the major avenue for cocaine trafficking into the United States as well as a major supplier of heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine.

In the Asian source regions, heroin production is dominated by large trafficking organizations, but the trafficking networks smuggling heroin from Asia are more diffuse. Asian heroin shipments typically change hands among criminal organizations as the drug is smuggled to markets in the United States and elsewhere.

The evolution of the international drug trade in the last decade has included greater involvement by a growing number of players and more worldwide trafficking of synthetic drugs. Criminal organizations whose principal activities focus more on traditional contraband smuggling, racketeering enterprises, and fraud schemes have become increasingly involved in international drug trafficking.

Although they generally are not narcotics producers themselves, many organized crime groups--including those from Russia, China, Italy, and Albania--have cultivated and expanded ties to drug-trafficking organizations to obtain cocaine, heroin, and synthetic drugs for their own distribution markets and trafficking networks.

Traffickers from many countries increasingly are eschewing traditional preferences for criminal partnerships with single ethnic groups and collaborating in the purchase, transportation, and distribution of illegal drugs.

Nontraditional trafficking groups--including rebel armies and extremist organizations--have also turned to the drug trade as a means of raising revenue.

Taking advantage of more open borders and modern telecommunications technology, international drug-trafficking organizations are sophisticated and flexible in their operations. They adapt quickly to law enforcement pressures by finding new methods for smuggling drugs, new transshipment routes, and new mechanisms to launder money.

In many of the major cocaine- and heroin-producing and transit countries, drug traffickers have acquired significant power and wealth through the use of violence, intimidation, and payoffs of corrupt officials.

They are ruthless in protecting their operations, threatening and sometimes resorting to violence against US law enforcement officers and Americans working and living in drug-producing and transit countries.That law had been amended since then in order to suit the evolution witnessed by drug-related crimes.

Drugs and Crime as a Threat to Development

of global trade. the illicit arms trade. Strategies must . The DEA, in conjunction with the FBI, has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts to work with foreign law enforcement counterparts in confronting the organizations that profit from the global drug trade.

Challenges in mainstreaming drug control into development initiatives, and ways of improving the international community’s coordinated efforts to address illicit drugs adverse impact on.

Mexico and the United States: Neighbors Confront Drug Trafficking James O. Finckenauer, Ph.D. International Center From trade to drug trafficking and energy to economic development, there are many issues that are important to the governments of the U.S. and Mexico.

Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime: Connected but Different | Harvard International Review

traffickers often blend into an ethnic community and disguise . The criminal nexus to terrorism including drug trafficking is why our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners throughout the U.S.

and the world are essential to combating global terrorism. Jun 07,  · ISIS Is So Desperate It's Turning to the Drug Trade As the Islamic State loses territory, it is forced to seek new revenue streams to exploit, including drug trafficking.

Proceeds garnered from peddling narcotics affords jihadis in Europe the financial flexibility to travel to Syria, to fund attacks, and to pay for their return trips home.

The Arms Trade is Big Business — Global Issues