Poli Exam Study Guide
Drug trafficking methods:
There are four main drug trafficking methods
Drug Mules - Drug mules often swallow the drugs in a latex bag,
carrying the drugs in the stomach with the intent of retrieving them,
using laxatives, once the destination is reached. However this method
is dangerous if the capsule breaks during transit.
Shoes, Clothing, Furniture etc. - Drug traffickers will try and smuggle
their product in almost anything they can get their hands on, from shoes
to laptop computers to bras and furniture.
Animals - Animals have been used like drug mules, with the intent to hide the
drugs within the body of the animal and retrieve it at the destination
point. From beetles to puppies to snakes, anything that is available.
Children - In recent years the practice of children as drug traffickers has
become a growing phenomenon.
Narco-terrorism refers to the use of drug trafficking to advance the objectives of
certain governments and terrorist organizations. The most notorious narco-terrorist is
Pablo Escobar, the leader of the Medallin cartel, who used violence and terrorist acts
in order to gain money, power, respect, and even went so far as to run for congress at
the height of his operation, campaigning for a change to foreign policy, in hopes to
raise his profits from his illegal drug activities going on in the US. Colombia is a classic
example of a state run by narco-terrorists, the big 5 are the FARC, the ELN, the M-19,
the EPL, & the AUC. A perfect example of the dangers of narco-terrorism is Ingrid
Betancourt, who was captured by the FARC during the presidential election due to her
outspoken attitude toward the FARC, they in turn offered to free her only if rebels were
freed, a method that a drug running group would never have thought about before the
term narco-terrorism was coined. Unfortunately narco-terrorism is present in the
middle east as well, in Afghanistan, with the Taliban, Hezbollah and Hamas, and it was
only after the September 11 attacks that nations decided to begin accepting
narco-terrorism as a real threat and start fighting against it.
Canadian Drug Markets:
Agencies Fighting Organized Crime:
There are national agencies, provincial agencies, and international agencies put in
place to fight organized crime. Some of these agencies are the RCMP, which has the
Organized Crime Branch, Financial Crime Program, Criminal Intelligence Program,
Proceeds of Crime, and many more, each with their own mission in mind. With all of
these divisions, the RCMP is a leading force against organized crime in Canada. There
is also the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, Canadian Security Intelligence Service,
Canada Customs & Revenue Agency, again all with their own responsibilities. Working together with the provincial organizations such as the Surete du Quebec, Ontario
Provincial Police, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, Organized Crime Agency of
British Columbia, and the municipal police departments like the Montreal Police, and
joint forces across Canada like the Bike Enforcement Unit, Provincial Organized Crime
Enforcement Team, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Units, Integrated
Counterfeit Enforcement Teams, Integrated Border Enforcement Team. All of these
organizations were created with one goal, to stop organized crime from growing and
spreading and gaining anymore power, and while it may seem like they are not doing a
great job, they are working very hard, with some good results. On an International level
there is Interpol, the police responsible for keeping the borders of each nation clean
and drug free, as well as organized crime out when it is not wanted.
Need for Information Sharing:
The need for information sharing is important because there is too much information
gathered by police departments for them to not overlook some facts. By sharing
information with other police departments, then pieces of the puzzle that are missing
might be found and might be able to create full proofed cases against members of
organized criminal groups. This is a major lack in the police system, where no police
department is sharing their information, causing many to criticize the work being done.
With information sharing, then one can be sure that all the information has been
checked out and it all comes back clean and useful.
Obstacles to Information Sharing:
Some obstacles that come in the way of information sharing are things such as:
Trust - Trust must be obtained by numerous level of law enforcement in order
for everything to be secure and useful. Trust must be foolproof between
an officer and informant, a chief or captain and his officer, from
department to department, and from organization to organization,
something that is not easy to accomplish.
Legal Issues - When law enforcement wishes to use certain information, they
must disclose to the source what their intentions are, therefore creating
a legal technicality that can allow a source to say that no consent was
given, creating cross border problems.
Investigative Work Methods - Law enforcement agencies are very secret, it is
within their culture, mainly due to lack of trust mentioned above, but
because of this, investigators are used to protecting their source and
view information as a means to power or a jump on other departments,
there is also a lack of understanding on the technology put in place in
order to gain information, sometimes a technology is not transferable
Working Conditions - Unfortunately because of the magnitude of information,
there is not enough time to share it with other departments, and not
enough people. The working conditions for law enforcement agencies is
very hard, and this needs to change first.
Successful Joint Squad Operations:
Operation Printemps was a successful operation conducted by more than 1000 police
officers in which they raided the homes and businesses of several Hells Angels gang
members. By targeting the ring leaders, the police agencies were able to arrest over 120 Hells Angels members. The reason it was such a big operation was because it
cost over 20 million dollars and involved the use of informants, undercover
investigators, wiretaps, and other electronic surveillance. In the end, law enforcement
was successful in charging 10 of the accused, leaving only 3 for trial.
Definition of Money Laundering:
There is no universal definition of money laundering. It is basically the process of
criminal proceeds, generated from criminal acts such as gambling, drug trafficking,
racketeering, to disguise their illegal origins. Funneling through different channels,
using different methods, the goal is to switch the illegal funds into legal funds. There
are three main goals, to convert the illegal funds, to conceal the illegal ownership of the
funds, and to create a legitimate explanation for the funds.
Three Stages in the Money Laundering:
The three stages of money laundering are:
Placement - Placing the money in different accounts or facilities, whether it be
offshore or not. Criminals use financial institutions and non
financial institutions, either way the money is placed into the legal
. t e k r a m
Layering - After placing the funds, the launderer will then distance the funds
from the original source through different methods, and over a period of
time. The goal here is to disguise the funds so law enforcement has
trouble finding the source of the funds.
Integration - The last stage is the integration of the funds into the legitimate
economy, through real estate, luxury goods, or business ventures.
Money Laundering Techniques:
Some of the more popular techniques of money laundering are through:
Nominees - Nominees is the process that money launderers use that entails
obscuring the direct connection of criminals to the money by nominating
family members, friends, business partners, or any other person as legal
holder of the asset.
Structuring - This technique refers to the process whereby large cash deposits
and other transactions are broken down into smaller accounts to avoid
suspicion associated with large amounts of money.
Insurance Industry - The insurance industry provides criminals with the
opportunity to take out large life insurance policies with large cash
surrender benefits. They will pay the premiums with cash and then cash
it in and request that payment be made.
Transportation Vehicles - Transportation vehicles provide a useful method for
smuggling cash. The main advantage of smuggling cash across illegal
borders is that there is no paper trail, however it is very risky.
Shell Corporations - Shell corporations can be defined as businesses without
commercial purposes, basically created to conceal the true beneficial
ownership of business accounts and assets owned by criminal
organizations. They are usually set up offshore. Impact of Money Laundering:
Money laundering has devastating economic, social, and security consequences. It
provides fuel for drug dealers, terrorists, illegal arms dealers, corrupt public officials
and all those looking to increase their criminal organizations. All in all money laundering
does not offer any advantages, in the long run it can even be dangerous for criminals.
The Canadian government has begun to take some action against money laundering.
An example of this is the Proceeds of Crime Act (Bill C-61). It is basically a bill that
allows the government and courts to battle against criminal acts because it created
the offense of laundering the proceeds of crime. Drug offenses, and enterprise crime
offenses are all documented in the act, making it easier for law enforcement agencies
to fight organized crime. There are some weaknesses however, the bill is too territorial.
It only enforces national money laundering and not international, allowing criminals to
continue to launder money overseas. There is also Bill C-9 which details that any
transaction over $10000 must have detailed records of the transaction. Anybody who
doesn’t comply faces a penalty of 6 months in prison and a $50000 fine. There is also
Bill C-25 and C-22, which give even more power to the government to fight criminal