Australia: a hotspot for drug trafficking

In the last couple of months Australia has seen more than one of its citizens convicted for drug trafficking. But the situation has become even more critical: the convictions will most likely turn into death penalties.

According to ACC (Australian Crime Commission) the number of illicit drug arrests in the country was the highest in the last decade, especially those related to cocaine. Always according to ACC data, cocaine production, together with other unknown drugs, as increased by 225 per cent and 331 per cent respectively.

The two most critical situations are those of Edward Myatt and Dominic Jude Christopher Bird.

Edward Myatt

The Edward Myatt situation took place in February: he got caught trying to import a large quantity of drugs into Bali, Indonesia. Arrested with 1.1kg of hashish and four grams of methamphetamines he is now facing three charges, including trafficking and two counts of possession. The 54-year-old showed no emotion and said little even when the court decided he could be sentenced to death if convicted on the drug-trafficking charge. Nevertheless, Edward, will be receiving some help from the law, since being a drug addict in Indonesia can lead to a lighter sentence. Mr Atmaja, Bali’s chief prosecutor, added that he was yet to form an opinion about the case, but said that the evidence against Myatt was overwhelming: the trial will be continued next Thursday, the 22nd .

The Dominic Jude Christopher Bird situation took place only one month after: the West Australian from Perth was arrested on March 1 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia confirmed that the 32 year old man was arrested for allegedly selling methamphetamines, but he was yet to be charged.

The man was caught during a raid on a coffee house just outside Kuala Lumpur’s central business district. In Malaysia, possession of more than 50g of methamphetamine is considered drug trafficking, which is punishable by death, and the australian from Perth was caught with 225g of the drug, and is now facing the death penalty.

According to the Australian Crime Commission licit drug data report, (IDDR), in 2009-10, the Australian market is a “lucrative one” for most organized crime groups. It is a problem needed to be solved through practical methods in order to be better anticipated, investigated and prevented. To steer away illegal drugs from the market, it is fundamental to understand how the drug economy operates, including all aspects: variables of product, pricing, promotion and methods of distribution – also, how these contribute, or are involved in, the effects of technology, competition and the social/cultural environment. Patterns, common trends or similar elements in these investigations will provide an important evidence base to assist decision-makers in the development of strategies to combat such a threat.

Moreover, in this report, the IDDR mentions cannabis, heroin, cocaine and other more recent drugs. Cannabis continues to be the predominant illicit drug purchased in Australia in the last decade, with 44 736 seizures nationally in 2009-10. Cocaine is also on the highest record to cause national arrests. The number of national illicit drug arrests is the highest reported in the last decade with more than 85 000 people arrested for illicit drug offences. The increase of the variety, number and speed of evolving analogue markets presents unique challenges for decision makers and law enforcement agencies.

It is crucial, according to John Lawler APM Chief Executive Officer Australian Crime Commission, for vigilance to continue and be a key to solving the problem of law enforcement action, as well as, strengthening knowledge of organized crime involvement in the illicit drug market.

The problem is out there, and illicit drugs traffic is not something that can be just wiped out from human natural societies, but these two examples are the living proof of an each time more effective system, which becomes capable of managing the detection and suppression of any kind of activity against the law. However, this is not but a fraction of the failures to comply with the laws in developed countries, so there is much to be done yet, especially in those countries where legal borders are more easily crossed, which are the countries that luck of a solid politic, economic and social structure.


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