Meth Trafficking is Riding Super Highway of Global Trade (Part 4)
The use of human mules to traffic illegal drugs, one of the most time-tested and expendable methods, is decimated by the closure of national borders resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this development has the unintended effect of drug cartels shifting to take advantage of legitimate supply chains to facilitate drug trafficking. Methamphetamine, one of the most profitable illicit drugs, is going along for the ride. By Lee Kok Leong, executive editor, Maritime Fairtrade
A hidden but urgent transnational problem
The global trade of illicit drugs poses a major challenge for governments around the world, more so when the crime is also transnational in nature and requires close and seamless collaboration between many national agencies.
Drug trafficking tarnishes the reputation of the affected countries and legitimate businesses. It also has significant negative consequences of increased crimes and violence, impacting on the health, well-being and functioning of societies.
The supply chain of illicit drugs, a multi-billion-dollar industry, includes not just the street peddlers but the vast hidden network that places the drugs on the street, from the masterminds, manufacturing bases, fleets of ships, to the bribery of port and customs officials. Nowadays, it is not an exaggeration to say that drug cartels are run almost like multinational corporations, with drug kingpins acting as chief executive officers.
Therefore, tackling this pervasive and urgent problem has become a cornerstone for many governments around the world.