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NCJ Number: 202278 Find in a Library
Title: Factors to be Taken Into Account in Modelling Drug Trafficking Operations
Author(s): Thomas Pietschmann
Date Published: January 2003
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Vienna, A-1400, Austria
Sale Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Vienna International Ctr
P.O. Box 500
Vienna, A-1400,
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: Austria
Annotation: This article outlines key factors to consider when analyzing drug trafficking patterns and operations.
Abstract: According to the author, drug trafficking can be analyzed on the basis of two key elements: profits versus risk. However, enabling and protective factors should also be considered to gain a more accurate assessment of drug trafficking operations. The article describes enabling and protective factors and then engages in a discussion of risk, which is the main limiting factor for drug trafficking. If risk and profit expectations are in relative equilibrium, drug trafficking patterns remain stable. However, if the risk is raised relative to the profit, a reduction in drug trafficking is likely. The problem is that most drug trafficking intervention efforts do not raise the risk level high enough to interfere with the risk-profit ratio; thus, drug trafficking is not reduced. To complicate matters further, drug trafficking operations worldwide are characterized by a high degree of heterogeneity, making generalizations difficult. The article discusses the regional characteristics of drug trafficking, the involvement of organized crime in drug trafficking operations, the organizational structure of transnational organized crime groups, and the price setting behavior of drug trafficking groups. Other considerations when analyzing drug trafficking operations include substance specific issues, such as the fragmentation of the heroin trade in relation to the highly concentrated nature of the cocaine trade. While the authors’ intent was not to produce a final model of drug trafficking operations, the author asserts that the considerations outlined in this article have important policy implications. Since price setting behavior is often multiplicative, rather than simply additive, it makes sense to contribute to the law enforcement efforts of producer and transit countries; the result should be a reduction in the supply of drugs to consumer countries. Endnotes, figures
Main Term(s): Drug smuggling
Index Term(s): Drug analysis; Drug prices; International drug law enforcement
Note: Downloaded September 25, 2003.
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