Chemical precursors, the unknown dimension of the world’s illegal drug market


Chemical precursors, the unknown dimension of the world’s illegal drug market

Drugs, International Challenges n° 7, OFDT, 7 p.
October 2014

Precursor trafficking draws little attention as efforts are focused on seizures of finished products listed as narcotics. Yet, this trafficking is a reality that now touches all continents and makes use of all major global trade routes. For the services responsible for controlling chemical precursors and preventing their trafficking, the task is extremely complex because, in contrast with finished products, the production and commerce of substances involved in the production of the majority of illegal drugs is in fact perfectly legal. Furthermore, to circumvent the controls established by international conventions and regulations, dealers constantly adapt by using unclassified substances. After presenting an overview in the first section of the global situation, and in particular, the main trafficking routes, this issue will discuss the latest trends, and especially the challenges facing Europe with the appearance on the market of new precursors and pre-precursors. The third section will be dedicated to the resources employed by the international community to fight against this phenomenon.

Author: Michel Gandilhon

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