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Posts Tagged ‘drug trafficking’

Victims of Geography

Reuters photo   By Ricardo Swire Tropical islands on Caribbean Sea routes are victims of geography. High-volume cocaine trafficking endeavors through the Caribbean’s isolated group of Barranquilla, Cartagena, San Andres and Santa Marta Islands demonstrate Colombian drug cartels’ relentless use of strategic offshore centers.

The Jamaica/Bahamas Drug Trafficking Relationship

USCG photo   By Ricardo Swire The Bahamas constellation of islands is unofficially the designated main transit station for Jamaican marijuana exports to the USA, Norman’s Cay in Exuma considered the main jewel in the Jamaica/Bahamas trafficking crown.

Drug Traffickers and GPS Technology

AFP photo   By Ricardo Swire The evolution of maritime trafficking expertise proves drug traffickers have both motive and means to develop new strategies that ensure delivery of their illicit cargo. Law enforcement agencies’ counter-narcotics sections challenge by placing state-of-the-art equipment and utilizing innovative interdiction methods, underworld characters manipulating legally available technology.

Conflicting Evidence

AP photo   By Ricardo Swire Contrary to predictions of a “majority” shift to Caribbean drug trafficking routes, modern trends reinforce Central America as the main corridor for drug shipments delivered to USA’s 327 land, sea and air points of entry.

Caribbean Money Laundering Choke Hold

CMC photo   By Ricardo Swire Sophisticated money laundering schemes invisibly bankroll transnational drug cartels’ presence in the Caribbean community. The cold war’s end signaled the start of an era where Russian organized crime syndicates formed alliances with Italian Mafia and Colombian drug cartels to invest billions of dollars looted from the former Soviet Union […]

Ireland’s Netherlands Factor

PA photo   By Ricardo Swire The Republic of Ireland is the main cocaine distribution center for shipments aimed at British users. Seven years ago “Operation Shovel,” an international law enforcement mission, discovered the Costa del Sol criminal empire, valued at £1 billion, international security observers rating Costa del Sol Spain’s most influential cartel.

Inter-Regional Drugs Movement

By Ricardo Swire A Brazil, Bolivia and Peru agreement sanctioned the trilateral police intelligence center that specifically focuses on drug trafficking in the three countries. Brazil shares extended unguarded borders with Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. Together the trio produce virtually all the global cocaine supply.

The Caribbean’s Drug Trafficking Command Center

AFP photo   By Ricardo Swire The Dominican Republic maintains its standing as the Caribbean’s drug trafficking command center. The country’s seizures reflect its prosperous transshipment business.

Underworld Movements

Reuters photo   By Ricardo Swire In early April 2017 one of Spain’s most wanted felons, “El Canoso” or “Grey-Haired” was arrested in a restaurant in Armenia, Quindio, Colombia.

Trans-Shipment Point

By Ricardo Swire The Co-operative Republic of Guyana is a signatory to the international Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs pact, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances agreement and the Convention against Trafficking of Drugs & Psychotropic Substances treaty. The Anti-Money Laundering & Counter Financing of Terrorism Acts also bear official signatures from Georgetown.

Airborne Cocaine

By Ricardo Swire Several factors make trans-Atlantic air routes attractive to Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs). In the 1970s and ’80s drug plane pilots navigated unimpeded between Colombia and staging areas near the US border.

2017 Caribbean Watch List

By Ricardo Swire International documentation continues to highlight the seriousness of money laundering and drugs trafficking in Caribbean territories, a March 2017 US State Department Report focusing on the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis’ susceptibility to “corruption and money laundering.”

The Bahamas’ Mixed Signals

Ahvia J Campbell   By Ricardo Swire Caribbean archipelago the Bahamas’ approximately 388,000 residents abhorred news of seven dead in the capital Nassau, during a single February 2017 weekend.

The Smuggling Game: Playing with life and death to reach Europe

Marko Djurica/Reuters   By Lin Taylor and Valeria Cardi In the dead of night, as wild animals howled nearby, Syrian migrant Aras Mahmoud clung to his children as they slept on damp grass in the Bulgarian mountains en route to Serbia, praying that his family would live another day.

Las Moicas

Reuters photo   By Ricardo Swire Las Moicas is a powerful, invisible, drug trafficking entity headquartered in Michoacán state on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Members primarily cook Methamphetamine and Heroin, then hide the drugs in either vehicle engine or transmission parts, smuggled across Mexico’s border with America.

Operation Stonegarden

EFE photo   By Ricardo Swire On Tuesday February 21, 2017 an intelligence driven Operation Stonegarden law enforcement mission, conducted by Puerto Rico Police’s Joint Forces for Rapid Action or FURA, intercepted 1,522 pounds of cocaine worth US$19.3 million.

Combating Israel’s Drug Trafficking Underworld

Jim Greenhill   By Ricardo Swire Medinat Yisra’el, or State of Israel, is located in the Mediterranean Sea’s eastern end. The government operates from Jerusalem, the self-proclaimed capital, its status as Israel’s official city not widely recognized internationally.

A Declassified American CIA File

Saul Loeb/AFP   By Ricardo Swire A recently declassified American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) document called “The Bahamas: Likely Reactions to a US Drug Indictment,” cataloged potential diplomatic damage that would have resulted from outlawing the 1969 to 1992 Bahamas Prime Minister Lynden Pindling on drug charges. Investigators found US$3 million more than the senior […]

Dominican Republic’s Drug Trafficking Distinction

Ricardo Rojas/Reuters   By Ricardo Swire Caribbean tourists of mixed nationalities are transported by planes and ships that frequently come and go, a perfect camouflage for transnational traffickers.

Marriage Of Convenience

Mohammed Jalil/EPA   By Ricardo Swire The Western Hemisphere is part of the globe that includes North and South America, accompanying islands and surrounding waters. The US State Department’s 2015 report stated South America and the Caribbean serve as areas of financial and ideological support for the Islamic State (IS), in addition to other Middle […]

Project Shadowfire

ICE photo   By Ricardo Swire On March 21st, 2016 one segment of a five week law enforcement offensive conducted across America, arrested 1,133 immigrants.

A Two Edged Sword

Orlando Sierra/AFP   By Ricardo Swire The Republic of Honduras is a hot and mountainous South American country, roughly the size of Louisiana in the USA. According to United Nations data Honduras is the most violent country in the Western Hemisphere, the mix of drugs trafficking, political instability and history contributing to a murder rate […]

Drug Traffickers

By Ricardo Swire The Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs, 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), named Jamaica as a transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to North America and international markets.

The Third Border

By Ricardo Swire Caribbean nations’ importance as the US “third border” is often overlooked. America and Canada depend on law enforcement cooperation in illegal drug trafficking, migrant smuggling and financial crimes that threaten both foreign and regional security interests.

Redefined Drug Trafficking Routes

USCG photo   By Ricardo Swire New drug trafficking patterns indicate the reintroduction of popular 1980s Caribbean routes. Drug shipment corridors between Peru, Colombia and the US are flexible, constantly evolving in response to law enforcement interdiction efforts or varying markets.

The Caribbean Basin’s ‘Northern Triangle’

Reuters photo   By Ricardo Swire The Caribbean Basin extends from Florida westward along the Gulf coast, meandering south along the Mexican coast via Central America. The Basin extends eastward, across the northern coast of South America, a geopolitical region that includes the West Indies archipelago. The ongoing “Drug War” moved north from Colombia, then […]