Photo: Latin American drugs have reached all the way to Australia
A new report from the Australian Crime Commission has noted that Latin American drug cartels have stretched their arms all the way to the island continent.
It is believed that the Sinaloa cartel and possibly others have opened up the cocaine market in Australia, as the biggest cocaine bust to occur recently happened back in October of 2010. Almost half a ton of the drug was seized on a yacht in Brisbane, making it the third largest cocaine bust in Australian history.
The report states that “law enforcement agencies have identified increasing availability throughout Australia, despite the fact that the price of cocaine in Australia is significantly higher than in many overseas markets.”
It added that while cocaine use in the U.S. has been on the decline for about 10 years, in Europe it seems to have stabilized and/or spiked, as less pure cocaine has become more available and is cheaper. “Despite this, the report states, “the majority of cocaine detected at the Australian border continues to be imported directly from North and South America,” often by way of Western Africa.
“Supply reduction strategies in South America, including crop eradication, will always be the key to reducing world cocaine supplies. There are signs that supply reduction strategies in Colombia are meeting with some success. However, reports from Bolivia suggest that Colombian and Mexican criminal groups are investing capital in Bolivia and Peru to support coca production in these countries and ensure there are sufficient supplies of cocaine to satisfy market demand. Networks involved in the production and international trafficking of cocaine are among the most sophisticated, profitable and powerful criminal networks in the world. They have displayed considerable ingenuity and invested heavily in concealment methods designed to avoid detection of cocaine importations.”
“... Criminal groups from, or with links to, Central and South America— and those groups already established in the Australian cocaine market—are expected to maintain a competitive advantage in trafficking the drug into Australia. Mexican criminals have become more prevalent as principals in the importation and supply of cocaine and associated money laundering. There is concern that they may also import the violent practices which have been reported overseas.”