Illegal drug trafficking


December 3, 2021

The illicit drug trade is a worldwide black market engaged in the cultivation, production, distribution and sale of drugs. Due to the high demand for drugs worldwide, the suppression of this market is difficult to imagine today. Illicit drug use is widespread worldwide and difficult for local authorities to combat. According to the United Nations, the size of the global drug market in 2013 was estimated at $ 321.6 billion. Thus, drug trafficking can be estimated at almost 1% of total world trade. Drug trafficking is considered a serious crime. Sanctions vary according to the country, the type and amount of the drug, the method of distribution, etc. - from long imprisonment, through forced labor, flogging, to the death penalty.


Chinese authorities issued regulations against opium smoking in 1729, 1796 and 1800. Addictive substances were banned in the West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In China, drug trafficking occurred in the early 19th century. As a result, by 1838, the number of Chinese addicts to opium had risen to four to twelve million. The Chinese government has responded by pushing for a ban on opium imports; this led to the First Opium War (1839-1842) between the United Kingdom and the Qing Chinese Empire. The United Kingdom won, forcing China to allow British traders to sell opium grown in India. Opium trafficking was lucrative and smoking became commonplace in 19th-century China, so British traffickers intensified trafficking. The Second Opium War broke out in 1856, in which the French and the United States joined the British this time. After two opium wars, the British, thanks to the Nanking (1842) and Tianjin (1858) treaties, demanded that the Chinese government pay large sums of money for the opium they seized and destroyed, which they called "reparations." In 1868, due to the increased use of opium, the United Kingdom restricted opium sales in Britain by the Pharmacy Act of 1868. In the United States, opium control remained under US control until the Harrison Act was introduced in 1914, after 12 world powers signed in 1912, the International Opium Convention. Between 1920 and 1933, the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution banned alcohol in the United States. During the Prohibition, it proved almost impossible to enforce the alcohol ban because of the rise of organized crime, including the modern American mafia, which found huge business opportunities in the production, smuggling and sale of illicit alcohol. North America and Europe, especially with the increased demand for marijuana and cocaine. As a result, international organized crime groups, such as the "Sinaloa" and "Ndrangheta" cartels, have strengthened their cooperation in order to facilitate transatlantic drug trafficking. In Europe, there is also a demand for another illegal drug, hashish. Drug trafficking is generally considered by lawmakers to be a serious crime around the world. Sanctions often depend on the type of drug (and its classification in the country where it is traded), the quantity traded, where the drugs are sold and how they are distributed. Penalties for trafficking may be stricter if drugs are sold to minors. Drug smuggling is severely punished in many countries. Convictions can involve long periods of imprisonment, flogging and even the death penalty (in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and elsewhere). In December 2005, 25-year-old Australian drug smuggler Van Tuong Nguyen was hanged in Singapore after being detained with nearly 400 grams of heroin. In 2010, two people were sentenced to death in Malaysia for trafficking in 1 kilogram of cannabis

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