Drug trafficking is a well-known problem. Nevertheless, the situation is getting worse and worse. There are many reasons for this, as @EurObsIT shows.
It’s so simple: today you can just buy drugs online. But the police authorities are overwhelmed. The official police statistics do not show these situation. Often only the number of investigations is listed here. However, while the drug dealer around the corner is a single case, an investigation against online platforms is a completely different dimension with thousands of customers.
Of course, the mailing of drugs by post is prohibited under the Universal Postal Union Treaty. But you have to get caught. All the customs authorities in Europe follow their own risk analysis. Goods from well-known countries and drug-sources are checked more closely than other countries. After all, this is a balancing act. Customs authorities also see themselves as service companies for fast and smooth movement of goods. In addition: for years and decades, customs authorities have suffered from too few personnel and inadequate technical equipment.
State authorities: too inflexible, under-equipped
Which brings us to the third “reason-why”. Although drug trafficking is always a big topic in the media, the authorities are far too inflexible to take action against international drug cartels because of administrative regulations. Investigative journalist Anabel Hernandez has been covering Mexican drug cartels and corruption for many years. She states with a view to the situation in Europe: “The bleak picture we see in Mexico seems very remote from most European countries, with their more stable democratic institutions. But the truth is that the cancer of organized crime and illegal drugs has already established itself in Europe’s major seaports. Most European countries are not operationally prepared to confront the problem, nor do they have the legal framework for doing so. Unless this changes, a country could end up being destroyed, as has already happened in Mexico.”
Last, but not least, drugs are easy to produce. If you want to have the “original”-taste you can buy online. If you just want to have the kick, you can switch to “crystal meth” or “ice”, “ecstasy” or “molly”. Es genügt eine Reihe unverdächtiger chemischer Zutaten, eben so einfach über den Onlinehandel zu beziehen. Synthetische Drogen sind ebenfalls seit Jahrzehnten bekannt. Sie wurden schon während des Zweiten Welt Krieges eingesetzt, um Soldaten wach und fit zu halten.
Is the fight lost?
Is the fight lost? Yes, if state authorities do not keep pace with international criminal organizations and their technical equipment and in their globalized cooperation. The technical equipment to crawl the Internet, for example, is available. However, they are not used at all or not sufficiently.
What makes this even worse is the fact that drug crime is already receiving special attention. The situation is even worse in other areas of crime. When it comes to smuggling and piracy of normal goods, the possibilities of customs are even smaller. Political attention is not high on smuggling and piracy of conventional goods. This has a direct impact on the motivation of officials to prosecute these crimes.