CMY3702: Crime Typologies
Read the following excerpt by Mnguni (2020) and answer the question thatfollows:
Transnational organised crime, especially drug trafficking, is observed as a universal security threat (Mnguni 2020). Experts have contended that this specific phenomenon lies fundamentally within the global political and economic context (Haëfele 2001:104). Global narcotics trafficking comprises of the production and distribution of psychoactive substances that are internationally banned by regulatory authorities and states because of its impact on governance, violence and individual health (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2017:5). These substances include LSD, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, as well as an increasing number of synthetic drugs (Kan 2016:3)
South Africa has seen a slow but steady increase in the availability of illicit drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide, amphetamines, and ecstasy since the early 1990’s (Parry 1997:2). Illicit drugs were first introduced by utilising the European route as well as various other sea routes coming in from Latin America (Kumar 2015:1). Statistical data indicate that South Africa is one of the main transit routes in Africa for drugs such as cocaine (from South America) and heroin (from Afghanistan and East Asia), primarily destined for Southern African and European markets (Van Heerden & Minnaar, 2016:16). South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa and faces the issue of drug abuse and trafficking (UNODC 2015:1).
Countries in this region (Africa) face a number of diverse issues with regard to drugs and crime. Illicit drug trafficking is one of those challenges. One dimension of the organised drug trade is the use of female couriers, popularly known as “drug mules” to smuggle drugs in and out of South Africa. The transportation of illicit substances across the borders of a country is a criminal offense that conveys serious punishment and consequences. It has become a norm in South Africa to encounter headlines that involved South African women trafficking drugs, such as South African Airways (SAA) cabin crew employees (male and female) who were arrested in Hong Kong for smuggling cocaine worth more than R45 million (Anon 2019:na).Critically discuss the use of females as drug mules during smuggling of drugs.
Focus on the following:
1. Definition of key concepts (i.e. drug trafficking, drug smuggling, drug mule,female, organised crime, transnational organised crime)
2. The local (South Africa & Africa) and international occurrence of the use of females as drug mules
3. Motivations/reasons of females for taking part in drug smuggling
4. Profile of a female drug mule
4.1 Typology of a female drug mule
4.2 Offender characteristics
5. Methods used by drug mules to smuggle drugs
6. Local (South Africa/Africa) and international measures put in place to prevent drug smuggling
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