Archives for Drug trafficking

How the weak won the war on drugs: drug cartel fragmentation and the evolution of the new generation of Colombian drug traffickers.

2 Sep, 2022
Damian Gariglio

New factors and circumstances are reshaping and redefining modern drug dealing organisations in Colombia. A defensive response Consistent violence has occurred within and throughout Colombia in the last thirty years as a consequence of the so-called “war on drugs” between the state and criminal actors. This unrest has catalysed a…

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US Foreign Policy in Latin America: Wolf, are you there?

1 Sep, 2022
Manuel Carranza

Image: Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, testifies on Capitol Hill, March 16, 2021. The United States (US) continues its efforts to tackle illicit trafficking and organized crime at home but has further restrained its engagement in Latin America. It…

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My Enemy’s Enemy is my Friend: Polarisation, Stigmatisation, and Political Violence in Colombia

26 May, 2022
Genevieve Kotarska

As we approach Colombia’s election season, the prospect of an increase in political violence is at the front of many analysts’ minds. Colombia’s elections have often been bloody; five presidential candidates were assassinated in the 20th Century alone. Just a few years ago seven candidates were killed during the municipal…

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Targeting Enablers of Transnational Crime: Insights from Operation Ironside

29 Jul, 2021
Ben Scott

Operation Ironside, a global operation led by the FBI and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), came to a resolution in June 2021. Across Australia, 4,000 police executed search warrants and made arrests, capping a two-year investigation which was undoubtedly the most significant in Australian law enforcement history. Ironside struck a…

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Is the UK Engaging Meaningfully with Counter-Narcotics in Afghanistan?

16 Dec, 2020
Dr Philip A. Berry

In recent evidence to a House of Lords committee examining United Kingdom (UK) policy in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Baroness Goldie warned that the Afghan narcotics trade, which accounts for approximately 85 per cent of global heroin, poses ‘a key threat to our national security interests.’ The threat, she argued, was multifaceted: ‘95 per…

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Part 2: How COVID-19 is affecting County Lines

28 May, 2020
Tony Saggers

COVID-19 is already having an unprecedented impact on the UK illicit drug market, its dependent customers and County Lines in particular. Just as international drug traffickers rely on hiding in plain sight amongst high volumes of global trade, County Lines depend on free and low-profile movement within the mass population.…

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The Invisible Air Force: The Increasing Threat of Drug Flights

1 May, 2020
Martin Verrier

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international trade has led to a significant retraction in global commerce. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) estimates that worldwide merchandise trade will fall by up to 32% in 2020. This represents a clear loss to legitimate businesses, but also to organised crime groups (OCGs), who…

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Part 1 – County Lines as a ‘Choice’ and an ‘Opportunity’

27 Mar, 2020
Tony Saggers

County Lines is undeniably the most significant trend in over a decade in the market for illicit drugs in Britain. It is a criminal business model unlike any other across Europe, thriving on the daily demand for heroin and crack cocaine from a dependent user group estimated to exceed 300,000 people. The…

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Brexit, Bananas and the UK Drug Market

18 Jan, 2019
Tony Saggers

Much has been discussed, in recent months, regarding the implications of Brexit for UK law enforcement and how we will continue to conduct the international aspects of intelligence and operations with EU partners. However, little has been said about the impact Brexit will have on drug trafficking organised crime groups…

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Multi-Commodity Drug Traffickers: A New Threat?

15 May, 2018
Dr Caitlin Hughes, Dr Jenny Chalmers and Associate Professor David Anthony Bright

Fuelled by high demand, profits and the global nature of the illicit drug market(s), drug trafficking remains one of the most maligned forms of serious and organised crime. The last decade has seen increased concern by international law enforcement agencies about a rise in the number of drug traffickers who have become ‘poly-drug traffickers’…

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