Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Drug Shipping Increases World Wide In Economic Downturn

Seizures Up Globally as Multi Modal Stashes Found in Containers to Souvenirs
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – As is usual in times of hardship crime rates appear to be increasing in all transport sectors with drugs the cargo of choice for most would be villains. The crime wave is sweeping from coast to coast and nation to nation as traffickers see the trade as their passport to riches at a time when most of the world is suffering financial hardship.

It is always tricky to tell if it is shipments or seizures proportionately which are on the increase but evidence lately suggests that one mirrors the other. After the recent case reported in the Handy Shipping Guide of a warehouse and transport network in Britain smuggling cannabis worth £5.25 million, other recent cases are equally disturbing.

The discovery by police at London’s Heathrow airport, who found 165 kgs of Heroin in a consignment of souvenirs imported from South Africa last month, sparked a series of raids from Dartford to Durban and netted tonnes of cannabis and hundreds of kilos more heroin. Some of the drugs were traced back to Afghanistan and had apparently been transhipped via Mozambique where they were repackaged into ethnic curios.

Meanwhile at Edinburgh airport a courier was apprehended with several kilos of cocaine after the suspicions of the UK Border Agency officers were aroused. A woman has been brought before the Court by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency.

In the US a Freightliner van was stopped after delivering domestic goods in Portland, Oregon and found to be carrying 88 kgs of cocaine in a secret compartment. The drugs, with an estimated street value of almost one and three quarter million dollars, were seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and the 46 year old driver arrested. The 24 boxes were loaded in California and the vehicle apprehended as it attempted to cross into Canada.

This is just a sample of the levels that these crimes are now reaching. Anyone, particularly those in a transit warehouse environment should satisfy themselves that customers and consignments are genuine as, when raids by authorities ensue, anyone in the vicinity is liable to have the finger of suspicion pointed at them initially.