The Red Light on Drug Trafficking

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Drug use is dangerous and can destroy many lives. Participating in the drug trade, such as processing and selling drugs, have their sanctions in many countries. Transporting illegal substances across other countries is a criminal offence and has serious consequences.

In light of recent events, we will tackle this subject of drug trafficking.

drug-mules-smuggling-drugs-in-their-bodies
An x-ray of drugs smuggled inside the body

What is Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking is a global illegal trade that involves cultivating, processing, distribution, and sale of illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin.

People who transport drugs across borders are called ‘drug mules’ and getting caught will entail death penalty and long-term imprisonment in different countries. Despite the high risk and serious legal consequences, many people still choose to be ‘mules’ because there is a lot of money to be made in this activity.

The average payment for a mule ranges between $3,000 and $5,000 for every trip, and this is a lot of money especially for those who are from poor countries. Those who are struggling with poverty and would like to earn big money are often tempted to become mules.

Additionally, those who are also addicted to drugs and have fallen on hard times because of their decisions, would also choose to traffic drugs to support their habit. Not every addict becomes a mule but according to experts, the number of addicts who do is growing.

There are also instances, like that of the recent case of Mary Jane Veloso, that they do not know they are carrying drugs with their baggage, and are simply used as pawns in this big drug trade.

drug-trafficking-routes

How do Mules Transport Drugs?

Mules carry drugs in different ways. With this, discretion and disguise. is crucial Many carry drugs strapped  or taped to their torsos and limbs, in their luggage, in their shoes, in toiletry bottles, and practically anywhere that cannot be detected in airports. Some mules even swallow the drug packages and store them in their stomachs, while some even hide the drugs inside condoms that have been surgically implanted under their skins.

Many airports have come to thoroughly x-ray people’s stomachs. And since pregnant women cannot undergo x-ray, they make ideal drug mules.

To even take the trafficking further, other more-desperate measures include storing drugs inside gutted human corpses and animals.

Cocaine smuggled in breast implants

Why You Should Not Give In

Drug traffickers will stop at nothing to get the drugs to the people that need them. But here’s why you should never give it a try, no matter how tempting the money is:

  1. First of all, why aren’t they doing it themselves? If your recruiter asks you to smuggle drugs and it’s easy and safe, then why aren’t they doing it themselves and save the money they are supposed to pay you?
  2. The payment for mules is little compared to the risk of going to prison for decades, or for being executed.
  3. You are expendable to them. They would, again, stop at nothing, even if it means they would have to kill you, if bad comes to worse.
  4. You may be used as a decoy. Imagine smuggling 500 grams of cocaine and the drug traffickers themselves will warn the authorities so you will get caught. Why? Because you’re a distraction so their other guy with 3 kilos of heroin, who you don’t know is queueing just a few feet behind you can get through.
  5. You WILL get caught. Eventually. And when you do, you’re on your own.
  6. You could die. You could die in the process of transporting drugs. The condom by which drugs are usually packed in for you to swallow or store in your skin may rupture and you could die by overdose. You could also die if you get caught and get the death penalty, which is the law in some countries.
  7. If you don’t die in those two, the drug lords themselves will have no trouble of killing you if that means they could make their operations run smoothly.
cocaine smuggled in breast implants spain drug mule
Cocaine smuggled in breast implants

Drug trafficking is a serious crime and although Mary Jane Veloso was spared from the execution sentence, those who are thinking of smuggling drugs should think twice before they step into another border carrying drugs that could destroy families and lives.

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