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Kolumbien. GameChangers 2017: Is Colombia’s FARC Really Gone?

Has Colombia’s FARC really left the country’s criminal scene? Yes, and absolutely not. The rebel army is gone, and has become a political party. But the FARC Mafia is just coming into being. (InSight Crime, USA, 16.01.2018)

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/gamechangers-2017-is-colombia-farc-really-gone/

Ein Ex-Dealer erklärt, wie Drogenhandel im Darknet funktioniert

Sascha Flamm verdiente Hunderttausende durch den Verkauf von Drogen. Nun spricht er erstmals über das Geschäft der Darknet-Dealer. (Spiegel online, 14.01.2018, Bezahlschranke)

http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/ein-ex-dealer-erklaert-wie-drogenhandel-im-darknet-funktioniert-a-1187560.html

EMCDDA. Developing drug supply monitoring in Europe: current concepts

This paper presents the EMCDDA’s current thinking on the conceptual framework for monitoring drug markets, crime and supply reduction — building on the work completed in this area and expanding to reflect the academic research underpinning this work and the developments observed. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, Dezember 2017)

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/emcdda-papers/developing-drug-supply-monitoring_en

How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan

After 16 years and $1tn spent, there is no end to the fighting – but western intervention has resulted in Afghanistan becoming the world’s first true narco-state. By Alfred W McCoy

After fighting the longest war in its history, the US stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How could this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for more than 16 years – deploying more than 100,000 troops at the conflict’s peak, sacrificing the lives of nearly 2,300 soldiers, spending more than $1tn (£740bn) on its military operations, lavishing a record $100bn more on “nation-building”, helping fund and train an army of 350,000 Afghan allies – and still not be able to pacify one of the world’s most impoverished nations? So dismal is the prospect of stability in Afghanistan that, in 2016, the Obama White House cancelled a planned withdrawal of its forces, ordering more than 8,000 troops to remain in the country indefinitely.

In the American failure lies a paradox: Washington’s massive military juggernaut has been stopped in its steel tracks by a small pink flower – the opium poppy. Throughout its three decades in Afghanistan, Washington’s military operations have succeeded only when they fit reasonably comfortably into central Asia’s illicit traffic in opium – and suffered when they failed to complement it. (The Guardian, 09.01.2018)

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/09/how-the-heroin-trade-explains-the-us-uk-failure-in-afghanistan

Spanien. Gang with illegal factory made two million cigarettes a day – and even had its own brand

A criminal gang which allegedly manufactured more than two million cigarettes a day in Spain has been broken up.

Police arrested 18 suspected members of the gang, which reportedly invested almost €3m (£2.65m) to start up and manage an illegal factory in the southern Spanish city of Granada. (IBT – International Businees Time, 06.12.2017)

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/gang-illegal-factory-made-two-million-cigarettes-day-even-had-its-own-brand-1650474

Lassen Drogenkartelle in Deutschland Endoskope stehlen?

Seit 2015 wurden allein in Deutschland mehr als 100 Diebstähle von Endoskopen registriert, der Schaden beläuft sich auf mindestens 25 Millionen Euro.

Ermittler rätseln seit langem, wer hinter diesen Taten steckt, da es in Deutschland keinen Schwarzmarkt für solche Geräte gibt.

Eine mögliche Spur führt zu südamerikanischen Drogenkartellen, die sie beim Schmuggeln verwenden könnten. (sueddeutsche.de, 11.11.2017)

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/kriminalitaet-lassen-drogenkartelle-in-deutschland-endoskope-stehlen-1.3743768

USA. Heroin in Soups and Lollipops: How Drug Cartels Evade Border Security

BALTIMORE — The tip came on the last day of January 2014 to special agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement: A drug courier was about to land at the Baltimore airport with a large shipment.

Hours later, the agents asked the man, Edgar Franco Lopez, a Guatemalan, to search the three large duffel bags he was loading in a car outside the airport. But agents found only food. So they bluffed, saying they had found evidence of drugs in the bags.

The driver, Edwin Quintana Carranza, a Mexican in the United States illegally who had claimed the bags were his and consented to the search, confessed. The drugs were hidden in the sugar wafers, he said. (NYT, 02.12.2017)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/02/us/politics/drug-cartels-border-security-traffickers.html

Cash and carry: the high cost of currency smuggling in the drug trade

Melvin Soudijn, Lisbon Addictions 2017, Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, Lissabon, 24.-26.10.2017

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/attachments/7476/12H45_2_Melvin Soudijn.pptx

UK. The real story behind the thousands of British children groomed by drug gangs: 'Everyone missed the warning signs'

(...) According to Home Office figures, 140,000 young people go missing in Britain every year. They disappear for a multitude of reasons: family conflict, addiction, financial breakdown, mental health issues. But in recent years, Missing People, one of the charities backed by the Telegraph in this year’s Christmas Appeal, has picked up on a previously under-reported group who go missing: children being groomed to traffic drugs. (Telegraph, UK, 02.12.2017)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/christmas/2017/12/02/real-story-behind-thousands-british-children-groomed-drug-gangs/

Tramadol. Sahel and beyond: UNODC sounds the alarm on the increase in trafficking and consumption of tramadol and its security and health implications

Dakar. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warns the international community on the implications of non-medical use of tramadol, a synthetic opioid, on the economies and security of West Africa, notably in the Sahel region, and the Middle East and its broader linkages with the global fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime.

"The rise of tramadol consumption and trafficking in the region is serious, worrying, and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We cannot let the situation get any further out of control", says UNODC Regional Representative in West and Central Africa, Mr. Pierre Lapaque. (UNODC, 11.12.2017)

http://www.unodc.org/westandcentralafrica/en/2017-12-11-unodc-warns-tramadol-use.html

Criminal Justice: Drugs and the darknet: Perspectives for enforcement, research and policy

Drugs and the darknet: perspectives for enforcement, research and policy, a joint publication by the EMCDDA and Europol, presents the latest understanding of how darknet markets function, the threats they pose to health and security and how Europe can respond. Darknet markets — also known as cryptomarkets — provide a largely anonymous platform for trading in a range of illicit goods and services. It is estimated that around two thirds of the offers on darknet markets are drug-related. (EMCDDA und EUROPOL, 2017)

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/darknet

Tramadol. Trafficking of pills used by suicide bombers soars in Sahel

The UN has warned of a rise in trafficking of the synthetic opioid tramadol across West Africa, as one official revealed it is being found in the pockets of suicide bombers.

Seizures of the drug have skyrocketed since 2013, from 300kg (660lb) to more than three tonnes a year, the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.

In September, three million pills in UN-logoed boxes were found in Niger.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42326253

UNODC – INTERPOL – Transparency International. Project CRIMJUST

Project CRIMJUST - Strengthening criminal investigation and criminal justice cooperation along the cocaine route in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa is a four-year (2016-2020), joint initiative funded by the European Union, implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with INTERPOL and Transparency International.

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/drug-trafficking/crimjust/index.html

The bitcoin boom is a surprise windfall for druggies

Those who bought the cryptocurrency for illicit trades have ended up with a good investment. (New Statesman, UK, 12.12.2017)

https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/future-proof/2017/12/bitcoin-boom-surprise-windfall-druggies

EU: Cocaine Route Programme

The rapid movement of people, goods and capital over recent years has opened up new opportunities for organised crime. In a globalised world drugs, arms, hazardous waste, protected species and the financial proceeds of crime flow rapidly across countries and continents. The authority of law enforcement and judicial authorities comes to a halt at national borders. The Cocaine Route Programme (CRP) presents a concerted effort by the European Union and its partners to staunch the flow of illicit goods and facilitate communication and cooperation of criminal investigators and prosecutors. Since 2009, the EU has committed over €50 million to the programme in more than 40 countries through the Instrument contributing to Peace and Stability. Its current focus is on transnational organised crime and drug trafficking in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa to Europe.

The Cocaine Route Programme addresses the challenge of a fragmented law enforcement approach along the trafficking route by promoting regional and trans-regional cooperation. The programme also seeks to build the capacity of law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies addressing cocaine trafficking and related criminal activity such as money laundering and the trafficking of precursor chemicals.

https://cocaineroute.eu/

Europa. BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS: HOW ILLEGAL DRUGS SUSTAIN ORGANISED CRIME IN THE EU

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), 2017.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/business_fundamentals_how_illegal_drugs_sustain_organised_crime_in_europe.pdf