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Kolumbien/Europa. Colombia’s cartels target Europe with cocaine, corruption and torture

Armed Belgian police raids have lifted the lid on a sinister new front in the drugs war. (The Guardian, UK, 11.04.2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/11/colombias-cartels-target-europe-with-cocaine-corruption-and-torture

A Synthetic Age - The Evolution of Methamphetamine Markets in Eastern and Southern Africa

The purpose of this report is to examine the existing retail markets for meth across several countries in eastern and southern Africa. This will be achieved through an analysis of meth availability, retail meth prices, distribution systems and domestic marketplaces. (Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, 11, 24.03.2021)

https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/meth-africa/

The global illicit economy: Trajectories of organized crime

Through stark images and charts, this report gives a graphic illustration of how the global illicit economy has boomed in the past 20 years and how it poses a serious threat to security, development and justice. (Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, 11.03.2021)

https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/global-organized-crime/

Webinar. The cocaine pipeline to Europe (English)

Over the past few years, the cocaine trade has enjoyed an unprecedented boom, fuelled by soaring production. In 2018, the combined production for Colombia, Bolivia and Peru – the three main producers of cocaine – was more than double that of 2013. While the rate of growth has slowed of late, there is still no sign of it hitting a peak. The new report "The cocaine pipeline to Europe" has been jointly produced by InSight Crime and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized crime. This report is the product of field investigations over two years in more than 10 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as interviews with officials, investigators and experts in numerous countries across both continents, and the collection and analysis of open source data and reporting. We discuss the key findings of the report.

(Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, 04.03.2021, Video, 01:28:51)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtOdXwV-Gpg

USA. The US Arrests Mileta Miljanić, the Alleged Leader of ‘Group America’ 

U.S. authorities have arrested the alleged leader of a criminal clan known as Group America, believed to have smuggled tons of cocaine across the world. The gang is known for dismembering enemies with chainsaws, assassinating senior government officials and cooperating with intelligence agencies. (OCCRP - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 05.03.2021)

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/13994-the-us-arrests-mileta-miljanic-the-alleged-leader-of-group-america

GROUP AMERICA: A US-Serbian Drug Gang With Friends In The Shadows

They’ve been accused of dismembering enemies with chainsaws, assassinating senior government officials and trading on ties with intelligence agencies. They’ve smuggled cocaine — tons and tons of it — across the world and now feed a sizable share of Europe’s drug habit.

Yet few outside of law enforcement have heard of Group America.

The decades-old criminal organization with roots in New York and the Balkans operates in dozens of countries, but its leaders have shown amazing ability to evade capture. (OCCRP - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 01.09.2020)

https://www.occrp.org/en/group-america/

Kolumbien. Colombian cocaine exports intact despite pandemic claims DEA

During a year in which countries around the world placed citizens under strict lock downs and international commerce ground to a halt with heightened trade controls, criminal organizations were quick to adjust to coronavirus restrictions by “flooding communities with dangerous drugs,” remarked the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency’s Acting Administrator Christopher Evans during the release on Tuesday of the 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment. (The City Paper Bogota, Kolumbien, 03.03.2021)

http://thecitypaperbogota.com/news/colombian-cocaine-exports-increased-during-pandemic-claims-dea/26915

THE COCAINE PIPELINE TO EUROPE

InSight Crime and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized crime

Februar 2021

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The-cocaine-pipeline-to-Europe-GI-TOCInsightCrime.pdf

USA. 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment

The 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) is a comprehensive assessment of the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs, the diversion and abuse of licit drugs, and the laundering of proceeds generated through illicit drug sales. It also addresses the role domestic groups, including organized violent gangs, serve in domestic drug trafficking. (DEA – Drug Enforcement Adminstration, USA, 02.03.2021)

https://www.dea.gov/documents/2021/03/02/2020-national-drug-threat-assessment

Radical technological breakthroughs in drugs and drug markets: The cases of cannabis and fentanyl. 

Caulkins JP. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2021 Feb 11:103162. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103162. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33583681.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395921000608

Journal of Illicit Economies and Development: - Volume 2 - Issue 2 – 2020 - Special Issue on Urban Peace – März 2021

https://jied.lse.ac.uk/5/volume/2/issue/2/

Die Drogen und der Rechtsstaat. Größter Kokainfund aller Zeiten – ja, und? 

Eine Kolumne von Thomas Fischer

In Hamburg ist eine große Menge eingeschmuggeltes Kokain sichergestellt worden. Einmal mehr ist vom »Schlag gegen die Kriminalität« die Rede. Wir fragen: Was bringt's? (Spiegel online, 26.02.2021)

https://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/kokain-fund-in-hamburg-ein-schlag-gegen-die-kriminalitaet-ja-und-a-9bb49d81-c033-4f2b-bb49-0d3029b1df01

Hamburger Hafen. Größter Kokainfund aller Zeiten 

Zollfahnder haben im Hamburger Hafen 16 Tonnen Kokain sichergestellt. Es ist der größte Kokainfund aller Zeiten in Deutschland und Europa. Experten warnen vor einem "gigantischen Sicherheitsproblem". (tagesschau.de, 24.02.2021)

https://www.tagesschau.de/investigativ/ndr/organisierte-kriminalitaet-drogen-101.html

The Future of the Cocaine Trade to Europe

The flow of cocaine to Europe may have suffered along with most licit businesses due to the Covid-19 crisis, but few believe the damage to the drug trade will be permanent.  The pandemic has accelerated certain aspects of the evolution of cocaine smuggling that will shape its future. (insightcrime.com, USA, 09.02.2021)

https://insightcrime.org/investigations/future-cocaine-trade-europe/

The Last Days of Heroin: Fentanyl’s Rise and the Pattern It Represents

Five years ago, British Columbia saw a change. People who use drugs in the Canadian province started overdosing in higher numbers, as fentanyl arrived into the unregulated opioid supply. The province—which recently asked the Canadian federal government for the ability to decriminalize drugs—saw a record 1,716 illicit drug-related deaths last year. Finding heroin or other unregulated opioids without fentanyl or its analogs in the mix has become near-impossible there. (Filter, USA, 18.02.2021)

https://filtermag.org/last-days-heroin-fentanyl/

Myanmar, Myanmar Opium Production Drops as Meth Surges, UN Says 

BANGKOK - Opium production in Myanmar, the world’s second-largest cultivator of the poppies that are the base ingredient for heroin, has dropped, according to a United Nations study released Thursday, as "Golden Triangle” drug lords focus on the more lucrative synthetic drug trade. (VoA – Voice of America, USA, 11.02.2021)

https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/myanmar-opium-production-drops-meth-surges-un-says

China Turns Blind Eye To Lucrative Cartel Chemical Trade, DEA Says

Agency experts tell VICE World News that China and Mexico are not doing enough to help stem the global trade in the chemicals used to make fentanyl and meth. (VICE World News, UK, 03.02.2021)

https://www.vice.com/en/article/3an43y/china-turns-blind-eye-to-lucrative-cartel-chemical-trade-dea-says

Mexiko. Poppy farmers’ ultimatum: ‘Get the soldiers out and leave our crops alone’

Growers in Guerrero say they're already struggling due to low opium paste prices. (Mexico Daily News, 27.01.2021)

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/poppy-farmers-ultimatum/

Mexiko. Violent criminal groups are eroding Mexico’s authority and claiming more territory

(…) Organized crime here once meant a handful of cartels shipping narcotics up the highways to the United States. In a fundamental shift, the criminals of today are reaching ever deeper into the country, infiltrating communities, police forces and town halls. A dizzying range of armed groups — perhaps more than 200 — have diversified into a broadening array of activities. They’re not only moving drugs but kidnapping Mexicans, trafficking migrants and shaking down businesses from lime growers to mining companies. (Washington Post, Serie, 2021, egl./span.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/mexico-losing-control/mexico-violence-drug-cartels-zacatecas

Mutmaßlicher Chef von größtem asiatischen Drogenkartell festgenommen 

Er gilt als Asiens »El Chapo«: Tse Chi Lop soll das größte Drogenkartell Asiens anführen. Jetzt wurde der Chinese am Flughafen in Amsterdam festgenommen. (Spiegel online, 24.01.2021)

https://www.spiegel.de/panorama/amsterdam-tse-chi-lop-mutmasslicher-drogenboss-aus-asien-festgenommen-a-4f852652-2572-4a30-86ba-3a96eb3b2bdc

Drug deals, dirty money and links to Beijing: Australian police bring down Asia’s ‘Mr Big’

One of the world’s most wanted alleged drug barons – a billionaire dubbed Asia’s El Chapo – is set to finally face justice in Australia after federal police carried out a covert plot to arrest him after he was deported from Taiwan. (SMH – Sydney Morning Herald, Australien, 23.01.2021)

https://www.smh.com.au/national/drug-deals-dirty-money-and-links-to-beijing-australian-police-bring-down-asia-s-mr-big-20210120-p56vk8.html

Mexiko. Mexico’s Fentanyl Crisis Reached New Heights in 2020

Trafficking of the deadly opioid fentanyl skyrocketed in 2020 throughout Mexico, solidifying the synthetic drug’s status as a top criminal economy and the country’s role as an international trafficking transit point. (InSight Crime, USA, 14.01.2021)

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/mexico-fentanyl-crisis-2020/

Russland. Revealing Trends in Russia’s Dark-Web Drug Markets

(…) It was after 2010 that the popularity of dark-web drug marketplaces began to grow in Russia. Supplying people with illegal drugs was increasingly done remotely—but not by mail, as in North America and Western Europe, because the mostly state-run Russian mail is checked thoroughly. Instead, it is typically done by means of zakladki or “dead-drops.” Stashes of substances are hidden for customers to pick up—placed on magnets in the entrances of apartment buildings, for example, or buried in flower beds or in forests. (Filter, USA, 16.12.2020)

https://filtermag.org/russia-dark-web-drugs/

DarkMarket. Ermittler schalten einen der größten Darknet-Schwarzmärkte ab

Auf dem DarkMarket ließ sich von Drogen bis Falschgeld viel Verbotenes kaufen. Jetzt haben deutsche Ermittler den mutmaßlichen Betreiber festgenommen. Auch Käufer und Verkäufer stehen nun im Fokus. (Spiegel online, 12.01.2021)

https://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/darkmarket-ermittler-schalten-einen-der-groessten-illegalen-marktplaetze-ab-a-38521dd7-17ab-465c-ba02-1e1b3e867e6e

Hezbollah denies any role in production of amphetamines

The leader of Lebanon's militant group Hezbollah has denied accusations it is involved in amphetamine production. (BBC, UK, 10.01.2021)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-55602726

Illicit drug prices and quantity discounts: A comparison between a cryptomarket, social media, and police data. 

Moeller K, Munksgaard R, Demant J. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2020 Oct 9:102969. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102969. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33041184.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395920303078?via%3Dihub

Mexiko/Europa. Inside the Sinaloa Cartel’s Move Toward Europe

Police agencies have long known that Mexican drug cartels help supply Europe’s nearly US$10 billion annual cocaine habit, but acknowledge they have little idea about the workings of these highly organized and well-financed operations.

But now, a recent Italian police investigation, code-named Operation Halcon, has provided the most in-depth look yet into how Mexico’s leading drug traffickers, the Sinaloa Cartel, do business in Europe. IrpiMedia, OCCRP’s Italian partner, obtained access to police files and surveillance reports that show the cartel’s methods in unprecedented detail. (OCCRP - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 15.12.2020)

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/inside-the-sinaloa-cartels-move-toward-europe

Mexiko. The cartel project: ‘They’re culpable’: the countries supplying the guns that kill Mexico’s journalists

Many of the weapons used in the murders of 119 journalists were imported – and Mexico’s laws and culture make tracing them impossible. (The Guardian, UK, 11.12.2020)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/09/mexico-cartel-project-weapons-import-trafficking

Mexiko. How Opioid Addiction in the U.S. Fuels a Crisis for Farmers in Mexico (Video)

As Americans turn to fentanyl, poppy growers in Mexico turn to migrant work and organized crime. (The Intercept, USA, 06.12.2020, Video, 09:24)

https://theintercept.com/2020/12/06/opioid-fentanyl-poppy-mexico-farmers/

Emerging evidence of Afghanistan’s role as a producer and supplier of ephedrine and methamphetamine

EMCDDA, David Mansfield (lead author), Lissabon, November 2020 

https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/system/files/publications/13410/emcdda-methamphetamine-in-Afghanistan-report.pdf