High-Level Political Corruption, Crime, and Drug Trafficking

"The Cosa Nostra and ‘Ndrangheta have long benefited from high-level political connections in Italy.77 In a similar way, some Mexican drug cartels allegedly benefited from protection from local police and local politicians.78 In Guinea Bissau, international drug traffickers counted on the support of
influential segments within the political and military apparatus for a number of years.79

Nexus of Corruption and Drug Trafficking

"The drug problem and corruption have a mutually reinforcing relationship. Corruption facilitates the production and trafficking of illegal drugs and this, in turn, benefits corruption.76 The wealth and power of some drug trafficking organizations can exceed that of local governments, allowing them to buy protection from law enforcement agents, criminal justice institutions, politicians and the business sector. In doing so, they further reinforce corruption. The rule of law is both an immediate victim and, if it is already weak, an underlying factor that feeds this cycle."

Infiltration of Customs and Border Protection Agency

(Infiltration of Customs and Border Protection Agency) "In particular, there have been a number of cases in which individuals, known as infiltrators, pursued employment at CBP solely to engage in mission-compromising activity. For example, in 2007, a CBPO in El Paso, Texas, was arrested at her duty station at the Paso Del Norte Bridge for conspiracy to import marijuana into the United States from June 2003 to July 2007, and was later convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. OFO reported that she may have sought employment with CBP to facilitate drug smuggling.

Profits of Heroin Trade and Vulnerability of Central Asian Nations

(Profits of Heroin Trade and Vulnerability of Central Asian Nations) "With a net profit of US$ 1.4 billion from the heroin trade alone, in 2010 drug traffickers earned the equivalent of a third of the GDP of Tajikistan (US$ 4.58 billion) or Kyrgyzstan,269 but only 5 per cent that of Uzbekistan (US$ 28 billion) and 1 per cent of that of Kazakhstan. The economies of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan appear to be the most vulnerable in Central Asia, while in Kazakhstan the entire amount would constitute a very small part of total economic activity."

Poverty and Likelihood of Corruption

(Poverty and Likelihood of Corruption) "The profits generated from the opiate trade have a serious impact on state and society. UNODC estimates that in 2010 drug traffickers in Central Asia made a net profit of US$1.4 billion from the sale of transiting opiates. Such staggering amounts are comparable with and can destabilize the vulnerable economies of Central Asian countries like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. At the micro level, poverty in these countries leaves many -including low-paid local officials- with few viable avenues for economic advancement.

Border Agencies Seizes Only Small Percentage of Illicit Cash Being Smuggled

(Border Agencies Seizes Only Small Percentage of Illicit Cash Being Smuggled) "In March 2009, CBP reestablished the Outbound Enforcement Program within its Office of Field Operations. 4 As a result of its outbound enforcement activities, CBP seized about $67 million in illicit bulk cash leaving the country at land ports of entry—97 percent of which was seized along the southwest border— from March 2009 through February 22, 2011.

Corruption Along US-Canada Border

(Corruption Along US-Canada Border) "In July 2008, for example, the FBI and DEA supported Canadian law enforcement in the arrest of eight people, including a customs agent, suspected of smuggling cocaine and marijuana, contraband cigarettes and illegal immigrants over the Quebec-New York border. This underground network reportedly ferried hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia into Canada via the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle border crossing. This is one of many investigations along our northern border.

Official Corruption in Nigeria

(Official Corruption in Nigeria) "The Government of Nigeria does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. However, corruption plays a major role in drug trafficking in Nigeria. Nigeria has anti-corruption laws, but has secured only a few notable convictions, including that of a former NDLEA chief (though this was overturned on appeal). The perception of high levels of corruption and impunity encourages narcotic trafficking in Nigeria."