RSS

Tag Archives: Asia

Asia the Next target for the Drug Cartels

Mexican soldiers unload bundles of seized marijuana before incinerating the drugs at a military base in Tijuana, Mexico.

David Maung | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mexican soldiers unload bundles of seized marijuana before incinerating the drugs at a military base in Tijuana, Mexico.

Latin American drug syndicates are sweeping into Asia, spurred by growing wealth, regional trade pacts that ease smuggling and some of the highest margins on offer.

Growth in the drugs trade, a significant part of an illicit economy worth more than $100 billion a year in east Asia alone, has led to a rapid rise in seizures: 254 million methamphetamine pills, for example, were intercepted in east and Southeast Asia in 2013 — a more than eight fold increase in just five years.

Officials warn that Asian law enforcement authorities are ill-equipped to cope with the rapid rise of drugs being smuggled across increasingly porous borders.

“Police and customs officials in Asia don’t often have connections in the Americas and have little knowledge of what may be coming their way,” said Jeremy Douglas, regional representative for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. “They don’t operate internationally. They’re about to have to.”

For those who are caught, the risks outweigh the rewards, with the death penalty operating for drugs offences in several Asian jurisdictions.

The Philippines, which has debated introducing the death sentence for drug offences, is the test bed for a pioneering case next month, when Mexican national Horatio Hernandez Herrera appears in court accused of being a high-ranking member of the notorious Sinaloa drugs cartel.

At a regional meeting in Bangkok last month, representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations raised red flags, saying that despite the potential for economic growth and trade, the region’s rapidly increasing connectivity could leave borders vulnerable to transnational trafficking and smuggling.

“Strengthening skills, capacity and cross-border co-operation among border and port security agencies is therefore essential to counter rapidly evolving transnational crime challenges,” said Jakkrit Srivali, a top official with Thailand’s foreign affairs ministry.

 

Growing wealth in Asia has translated into heightened demand for cocaine, with emerging pockets of consumption, trafficking and trade, according to a report last year from the UN office.

Mexico’s infamous Sinaloa cartel, whose head Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán staged a sensational jailbreak last month, has been pinpointed as a key supplier by authorities across Asia-Pacific.

The Jalisco New Generation cartel, an aggressive newcomer to Mexico’s drug wars that achieved notoriety in recent months after shooting down a military helicopter, is also targeting markets in Hong Kong and Japan, according to Canacintra, a Mexican business chamber.

“The severe penalties, such as life imprisonment or even the death penalty, for traffickers caught in Asia are reflected in the exorbitant price of the drugs there,” organisation president Rodrigo Alpízar Vallejo told media in Mexico.

Asia-Pacific economies offer much higher profit margins than the cartel’s traditional markets. In Hong Kong, a kilogramme of cocaine can sell for up to three times the price it would in the US. In Australia, it can be as much as six times, according to police and experts.

Meanwhile, according to financial crime investigators, the cartels will be closely studying regional trade deals, such as the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership, for clues about the liberalisation of certain routes or the reduction of tariffs on certain goods, which could be used to hide contraband and assist in the trade-based repatriation of smuggling profits.

“Anything that is going to increase the volume of trade, the efficacy of trade, is also going to increase the opportunity and bandwidth of criminals to move their products and launder funds,” said Bill Majcher, who worked with American and Canadian federal police.

“Over the past few decades I have seen a dramatic increase in trade-based laundering closely correlated with the opening up of transnational trade zones and treaties,” said another investigator, who asked to remain anonymous due to ongoing operations.

Robert Evan Ellis, professor of Latin American Studies at the US Army War College and an expert on the region’s relations with China, said the deal would “expand opportunities for transpacific organised crime by increasing trade volume, and the number of banks and companies doing transpacific transactions”.

However, he noted that regional ties fostered by the deal would “indirectly help increase law enforcement and transpacific legal frameworks that will help combat the cartels”.

Credit; Bryan Harris Financial Times

Advertisements
 
Comments Off on Asia the Next target for the Drug Cartels

Posted by on 09/25/2015 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Bt1-bn drug seizure in Pathum Thani; Thailand

Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai Province

Image via Wikipedia

Pathum Thani police yesterday seized some 2 million ‘ya ba’ tablets, 30 kg of crystal meth (or “ice”) and 20 kg of heroin worth about Bt1 billion in total at a house rented by a fugitive drug suspect from former actress Jarinya Hannarong.

After receiving a complaint of suspected registration-plate theft, police on Friday chased a suspicious Toyota Camri sedan, which later crashed in Pathum Thani’s Khlong Luang district. The driver escaped with two big bags, but police seized three grams of ice and managed to identify the suspect as Nipon Kanchat, 54.

Police yesterday searched the suspect’s home in Bangkok‘s Ratchadapisek area, where they found 41 gm of ice, as well as his rented house at the Sammakorn Khlong 2 Estate on Rangsit-Nakhon Road, where they found the drugs listed above.

Meanwhile, two suspected drug runners were shot dead in Chiang Mai province on Friday when the Pha Muang Task Force clashed with a four-strong gang trying to smuggle narcotics over the border in Mae Ai district. The two other suspects fled. Officials said they seized 100,000 ‘ya ba’ tablets, 10 kg of crystal meth and 500 gm of heroin.

After getting a tip about a possible drug-smuggling attempt via the Mae Ai border, the task force began patrolling the area last Wednesday. They ran into four armed men with backpacks crossing the border on foot at 6pm on Friday at Ban Huai San.

Related articles

 

 

 
Comments Off on Bt1-bn drug seizure in Pathum Thani; Thailand

Posted by on 01/22/2012 in Crime Watch, Crime!

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Narco- North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il has died today

North Korea's Kim Jong-Il has died

North Korea's Kim Jong-Il has diedImage via Wikipedia

North Korean media has reported that long-time leader Kim Jong-Il has died, the Reuters news agency said.

State television reported on Monday that he died on Saturday.

The announcer said the cause was “physical and mental over-work”.

 
Comments Off on Narco- North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il has died today

Posted by on 12/19/2011 in Politics

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

United States expects to station several combat ships in Singapore!

U.S. Combat ship

U.S. Combat ship

The United States, facing a rising China but a tighter budget, expects to station several combat ships in Singapore and may step up deployments to the Philippines and Thailand, a naval officer said.

The United States has been increasingly vocal about defending freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where tensions over territorial disputes between Beijing and Southeast Asian nations have been on the rise.

In an academic article forecasting the shape of the US Navy in 2025, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, wrote that “we will station several of our newest littoral combat ships” in Singapore.

Greenert said that the United States may also step up the periodic deployment of aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon — which is being developed to track submarines — to regional treaty allies the Philippines and Thailand.

“The Navy will need innovative approaches to staying forward around the world to address growing concerns about freedom of the seas while being judicious with our resources,” he wrote in the December issue of the US Naval Institute’s Proceedings.

“Because we will probably not be able to sustain the financial and diplomatic cost of new main operating bases abroad, the fleet of 2025 will rely more on host-nation ports and other facilities where our ships, aircraft, and crews can refuel, rest, resupply and repair while deployed,” he wrote.

The naval officer did not directly mention China, as part of the usual policy by US President Barack Obama’s administration to publicly seek a more cooperative relationship with the growing Asian power.

But the United States has laid bare its concerns about China. Obama last month announced that the United States would post up to 2,500 Marines in the northern Australian city of Darwin by 2016-17, a move criticized by Beijing.

The United States also has some 70,000 troops stationed in Japan and South Korea under longstanding alliances and has offered assistance to the Philippines which launched its newest warship on Wednesday.

Singapore is also a long-standing partner of the United States. The US military already operates a small post in the city-state that assists in logistics and exercises for forces in Southeast Asia.

In the article, Greenert described the Gulf monarchy of Bahrain as a model. The US Fifth Fleet is based on the small island which is strategically close to Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

“In 2025 the Navy will operate from a larger number of partner nations such as Bahrain to more affordably maintain our forward posture around the world,” he wrote.

The United States spent some $700 billion on its military in the past year, far more than any other country, and many lawmakers accept the need for cuts as the Iraq and Afghan operations wind down.

The Obama administration has identified Asia — full of fast-growing economies and with a still emerging security order — as the key priority for the United States.

Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta all traveled to Asia in recent months to hammer home the message that the United States will not leave the region despite economic woes at home.

“As the United States puts our fiscal house in order, we are reducing our spending,” Obama said in his speech in Darwin.

But he added: “Here is what this region must know. As we end today’s wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia-Pacific a top priority.”

Naval power, critical to the rise of the United States and earlier Britain as global powers, is expected to remain critical in the 21st century.

China has developed its first aircraft carrier, which has undergone two sea trials this year. An image of the 300-meter (990-foot) refitted former Soviet carrier was captured by US-based company DigitalGlobe Inc.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 12/18/2011 in Politics

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
Mobile biz

The place to purchase Mobile Applications etc.,

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

bizatjango

BizJango & Jazz Music go together!

Essa On Everything

***Warning: Posts on this site may be factually incorrect, delusional, mean spirited...or all of the above

%d bloggers like this: