Brong Ahafo, with marijuana from Wenchi especially prized; 'taffeta': denseleaves and very small (concealed) seeds, grown in Volta Region; 'seed dope':which grows anywhere; 'area dope': grown close to Accra and cut early toavoid detection, giving the lowest quality marijuana’ (Bernstein, 1999: 15).
Trafficking in drugs: Some motivating factors
Trafficking in drugs is a worldwide activity. It is a black market consisting of production,distribution, packaging and sale of illegal drugs. The illegality of the black markets purveyingthe drug trade is relative to geographic location, and the producing countries of the drug markets.For instance many South American, far Eastern, and Middle Eastern countries are not as inclinedto have "zero-tolerance" policies, as the consuming countries of the drug trade, mostly UnitedStates and European countries. Demand underlies the increasing drug trafficking offences, forwithout it, the economics of it cannot be sustained. Increased demand has therefore led toincreased practitioners, and consequently, refined techniques and operational procedures. Beingat least a step ahead of the law enforcement authorities has been a requirement for allpractitioners, especially those who operate from a low resource base.The origin of illegal drug trade is rooted in jurisdictions where legislations prohibit the sale of certain popular drugs. In such jurisdictions, it is common for illegal drug trade to develop. Forexample, the Ghana government has identified a number of controlled drug substances. Thesame can be said of Britain and, USA and indeed very many countries across the world. As aworld-wide phenomenon, illegal drug dealing has been explored as topic in books and films. Thephenomenon has become a major staple for humour and entertainment and was the topic of
Clear and Present Danger (1994),
2 Fast 2 Furious
Bad Boys II
Drug Trafficking: A Transnational Business?
Transcending political borders and knowing no bound, not a single country is insulated from itseffects. According to one literature, a high number of jailed Africans in Western Europe and USare Nigerians who have been arrested on drug charges
. This reflects the trans-nationality of thedrug trade, and the complex operational techniques associated with it. In very many cases of illegal drug dealings and general drug pushing activities, people of diverse nationalities areinvolved. Here, the infamous East Legon Cocaine Saga is handy, because it reflectedcollaboration between Ghana and Venezuela
and comes close to what can be described as aperfect copy of the Colombian model. This however is not to suggest that, the trade thrives onlyon groups of diversified nationalities. For instance, Klein observes that, some Nigerians havetheir own syndicates
. The same can be said of the Mexican and Ghanaian cases. The Mexicancase for instance has been described in the literature as a
Drug Trafficking Federation
, posing atremendous drug threat along the US southwest border through its poly-drug smugglingoperations. This federation has patrons, division heads, gatekeepers and family syndicates
.Other producing countries such as Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru (the Andean producers) as wellas Thailand, Burma and Malaysia (the Golden Triangle) are also into the drug trafficking
the free online encyclopedia.
Klein, A. (1994). Trapped in the Traffick: Growing Problems of Drug Consumption in Lagos.
The Journal of Modern African Studies,
Vol. 32, No. 4:657-677, p. 660.
Cases of this nature have recently engaged the attention of the Ghanaian media. The East Legon Cocaine Sagafor one has been in the media for over a year now, beginning from the last quarter of the year 2006. Prior to this,there had been other high profile cases that involved people of Ghanaian and British nationalities and were alsocaptured by the Ghanaian media. See for example
, July 20, 2006, April 30, 2007 editions and
, April 30, 2007 edition.
Cf. Klein, op cit., p. 660.
Cf. the website of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the U. S. Department of Justice.