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Mexican Drug Gangs Target Australia with Meth

Meth

Australian law enforcement agencies have sounded the alarm over a concerning trend in the drug trade, with Mexican drug cartels now dominating the supply of methamphetamine to the country. This shift in supply dynamics has raised significant challenges for authorities, prompting warnings of increased targeting by Mexican gangs. Here are some details according to the report of CNN International.

Rise of North American Meth Supply

In a stark reversal, drug cartels from North America have surpassed their Southeast Asian counterparts to become the primary suppliers of methamphetamine to Australia. According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), over 23.6 tons of meth produced in North America were seized in the 2022-23 financial year, comprising at least 70% of meth found in the country.

The AFP has issued warnings about the escalating threat posed by Mexican drug cartels, highlighting their increasing focus on the Australian market. Commander Jared Taggart emphasized that Australia has become an attractive target for organized crime groups due to the potential for substantial profits.

Shift in Drug Consumption Patterns

While cannabis remains the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia, there has been a concerning rise in methamphetamine and amphetamine consumption, particularly among younger demographics. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports a significant increase in the use of these stimulants.

Law enforcement agencies face formidable challenges in combating the influx of Mexican meth into Australia. The cartels’ adeptness at evading detection and their ability to undercut competitors on price pose significant hurdles for authorities.

Drug traffickers have employed increasingly sophisticated methods to smuggle meth into Australia, including disguising the substance as everyday products. Recent seizures of liquid meth concealed as coconut water and meth mixed with shampoo highlight the ingenuity of smuggling operations.

Policy Implications

Changes in drug policies in certain Australian states, such as the decriminalization of small drug possessions and the introduction of leniency measures, may inadvertently incentivize criminal organizations. These policy shifts could inadvertently signal to drug cartels that Australia is a lucrative market.

The surge in Mexican meth imports may be influenced by global factors, including disruptions in traditional drug markets. With geopolitical tensions and conflicts impacting drug trafficking routes, criminal organizations may be redirecting their supplies to alternative destinations.

While Mexican drug cartels currently dominate the meth trade in Australia, Southeast Asian suppliers remain resilient. Despite a temporary setback in market share, these suppliers have demonstrated adaptability and continue to pose a significant threat. Law enforcement agencies must remain vigilant and agile in responding to evolving trends in the drug trade.

In summary, the infiltration of Mexican methamphetamine into Australia underscores the complex and dynamic nature of transnational organized crime. Addressing this multifaceted challenge requires a coordinated and comprehensive approach involving law enforcement, policy interventions, and international cooperation.

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