Connect with us

Drug Trafficking

Sentencing postponed as cocaine-smuggling sailboat captain undergoes surgery

Published

on

Articles

Preference for fentanyl highest among young, white opioid users in US, study finds

Published

on

preference for fentanyl highest among young, white opioid users

US opioid users who prefer the drugs they take to contain fentanyl are more likely to be young, white addicts who consume illicit substances on a daily basis, according to study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Researchers from the institution polled more than 300 opioid users in three US states, discovering that 27% of respondents expressed a preference for their opioids to contain fentanyl, which is said to be as many as 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

According to the results of the survey, the median age of those who prefer their opioids to contain fentanyl was 38, which compared to 45 for those who would rather their drugs did not.

Ethnically, some 59% of those who prefer their drugs to contain fentanyl identified as being non-Hispanic white, compared to only 29% who like their opioids to be fentanyl-free.

In a statement, study author Susan Sherman said: “These findings will help us think about how best to target interventions to prevent opioid overdoses.

“Preference for fentanyl for a minority of participants likely reflects the fact that in their street opioid markets, fentanyl-containing products are all they’ve known and used.”

In March, data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that overdose deaths linked to the consumption of fentanyl in the US were rising fastest among African Americans.

The statistics showed that while non-Hispanic white people continued to account for most overdose deaths linked to the drug, fatalities associated with fentanyl were rising fastest among non-Hispanic black users.

Separately, American businessman Stephen Schwarzman this week told CBNC that Beijing officials are working to stop shipments of fentanyl from leaving China, where illicit factories produce large quantities of the synthetic opioid to sell into countries such as the US.

“There’s a huge reorganisation going on in China regarding fentanyl to try to shut it down,” Schwarzman said after a trip to the country.

“And if what [officials there told me] is true, you will see this really going down quickly.”

The Trump administration has repeatedly accused China of failing to do enough to prevent shipments of fentanyl from being exported from within its borders to the US.

Last month, Beijing hit back by claiming the US was attempting to pass the blame for its spiralling opioid crisis, urging the White House to examine the domestic drivers of the epidemic.

Continue Reading

Articles

Spanish police arrest major dark web cannabis dealer in Malaga

Published

on

dark web cannabis dealer

Detectives from Spain’s national police force have arrested a man described as a major dark web cannabis dealer.

Officers detained the man in Malaga on suspicion of using three online tools designed to shield their users’ location, namely the Tor onion browser, encryption technology and the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

He was arrested following the linking of his home to the dark web cannabis supply conspiracy after police discovered the property was being used to prepare drug deals made on illicit hidden online marketplaces.

The operation that led to the man being detained began last year when Spanish officers began a probe into individuals using the dark web and other technology to sell drugs.

In a statement, police said the platforms on which dark web drug dealers sell their illicit products often have eBay-style rating and feedback systems, allowing traders to build their reputation by offering high levels of customer service.

Some dark web illicit marketplaces also offer buyers and sellers the opportunity to communicate and exchange information over instant chat services and in hidden online forums.

“Thanks to the investigation, one of the most active hashish online sellers has been arrested,” Policia Nacional said in a statement.

“The arrest was made at his home, located in the Malaga town of Mijas, when he was connected to the dark web.

“During the operation, officers seized 2kgs of herbal cannabis prepared for distribution in small packages, two computers, a telephone, envelopes and packaging material, a vacuum packing machine and cutting and weighing tools.

“The operation remains open for the identification and location of more than 60 online sellers who are being investigated.”

Separately, an investigation conducted by BuzzFeed and UK broadcaster Channel 4 has revealed that rapists are attacking gay and bisexual men in Britain after they have taken psychoactive drug gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) at so-called chem sex parties while they are comatose and livestreaming the assaults on the dark web.

A survey of 2,700 gay and bisexual men on which the investigation was partly based found that one in four had been sexually assaulted after taking the drug, which has been popular with gay and bisexual men since the 1990s.

One man told reporter Patrick Strudwick: “I know of somebody who was dead on the sofa at a sex party.

“The party went on for more than a day and nobody bothered to check on him. He’d been dead for two days after a G overdose…

“People say it’s like being drunk. It’s not. It’s like being dead, but still walking.”

Continue Reading

Articles

Bungling Australian airport worker who asked Google how to beat customs checks jailed for smuggling A$4 million of cocaine

Published

on

asked Google how to beat customs checks

An Australian customs worker who searched for information online about how to outwit his airport security colleagues has been jailed for drug smuggling.

Sam Kul was handed a nine-year jail term at Victoria’s County Court after being convicted of attempting to import 4kgs of pure cocaine worth an estimated A$4 million ($2.86 million) into the country through Melbourne Airport in April 2017.

Kul, who worked as security contractor at the same airport, was found by police to have used his mobile phone to make searches such as “does customs check every bag Australia” and “bringing a million dollars through airport” prior to launching his smuggling plot.

Others searches he made included “can money be seen on airport scanners” and “how to browse privately on Samsung”.

The court was told that Kul turned to drug trafficking when he encountered problems paying off debt he took out to buy a luxury Mercedes sports car, which he is said to have acquired in order to impress his girlfriend.

The 36-year-old claimed he was the victim of a set up, and believed he was sneaking cash into the country in the fake base of a Parada bag in which the cocaine was discovered.

Kul was told he must serve a minimum of six years behind bars before being eligible to apply for parole.

The offences he was convicted of carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Trail judge Trevor Wraight rejected prosecutors’ claims that Kul’s airport security job had helped him plan the trafficking conspiracy, ruling that the defendant had merely been acting as courier.

As well as struggling to maintain payments on a loan taken out to pay for an “overly extravagant” Mercedes-AMG, Kul was also behind on his mortgage payments when he agreed to smuggle cocaine into the country, for which he believed he would be paid A$20,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.

A report published last month by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission revealed that the country’s inhabitants consume more than four tonnes of cocaine every year, despite the fact that the drug can cost as much as A$600 per gram there.

“Since 2008–09, the annual median purity of analysed cocaine samples has ranged between 9.5% and 64.5%,” the report said.

“In 2017–18, the annual median purity ranged from 42.1% in Queensland to 62% in New South Wales.”

Continue Reading

Newsletter

Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates and information on events

Social Widget

Latest articles

Press review

Follow us on Twitter

Trending

Shares