International Arms Trafficking

December 6, 2018 Crime , North America , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER

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Ricardo Swire



Ratification of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime’s supplementary Protocol has moved atsnail pace, while threats posed by illegal weapons become more serious. Recently eight former Panamanian Direccion Institucional de Asuntos de Seguridad Publica, or Public Security Directorate, (DIASP) officials and one civilian were implicated in illegal importation of one hundred firearms to Panama.


On Monday October 08, 2018 the Director of DIASP was temporally suspended. Forty of the guns included AR15 assault rifles and Spear grenades purchased in America. Prices varied from US$149 to US$540 per item. The DIASP trafficking network used unidentified Panamanian merchants to retail the imported hardware at inflated prices, ranging from US$5,500 to US$7,500.


Law enforcers presented official documents that indicated the cache was purchased between 2016 and 2017 however contradictory firearm permits were dated in 2012. The same year Panama’s Firearm Law 57 was adjusted to mandate only state security forces can import firearms. DIASP officials formally regulate certificates and issue imported firearm permits. In 2012 the United Nation Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) averaged seven hundred thousand firearms circulated in Panama.


Panama has followed the footsteps of America and Switzerland, adopting an ideology that the right to bear arms leads to fewer murders. The “group –think” is no direct correlation with the aphorism “more guns mean more crime.” During the first three months of 2015 Panama registered one hundred and sixty-five murders across six different regions. Ministry of Security reports verified seventy percent of such homicides were committed with guns.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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