Drug trafficking is very common in Guam, and they all pass through the hands of special customs before reaching their respective destinations; the kind courtesy of the Darknet marketplace. The Darknet has been a thorn in the flesh of many countries, and the ever-changing ideas of its users make it difficult for the effort of authorities to come to light.
With respect to this, it is commonly known that the authorities are doing nothing to stop the illicit activities that spillover on other countries with greater effect.
On this note, Guam customs has shared plans to thwart Darknet drugs and cybercrime activities that emanate from the Darknet.
Guam, an island 209 square miles off the westernmost U.S. territory with a population of nearly 155,000 has been the center of most drugs trafficked through the Darknet.
According to the Guam Drug Assessment released, drugs get to the island through the Guam International Air Terminal. Darknet traffickers conceal the drugs in different ways including suitcases, inside frozen fish, intermingled with woodcarvings and hidden in other airfreight cargo. Also, major seizures are made from passengers, baggage, and cargo.
In a discussion held by Guam officials to find ways to put a stop to drug trafficking through the Darknet, it was agreed that drugs shipped through the Island is a major problem. The assistant chief at Guam Customs, Colonel David Flores, explained that Methamphetamine, a common drug trafficked from the Darknet is a drug of choice as proved statistically. It is their biggest problem.
Longtime abusers of this drug have the higher risk of contracting HIV and Hepatitis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse published that abusers face severe dental problems, paranoia, hallucinations and violent behavior. The success of drug prevention can increase productivity as there will be no health concern.
In the course of tracking down drug traffickers on the Island, it was revealed that tourists are the main carriers of these Darknet drugs. Colonel Flores, after an investigation, said: “These were tourists bringing in methamphetamine to be paid at the outset of their delivery to Guam.”
“What you see here in Tumon may not be your bona fide tourist,” he continued. Majority of the drugs that find their way into Guam originates from the United States of America. The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime has reported that the largest cocaine (drug) market is in North America and Europe.
The issue pertaining to the Darknet is not only about drugs, but also, cybercrime. This is another crime committed on the Island that authorities are looking forward to putting a stop to. Cybercrime and criminal opportunities are very common on the Darknet.
In the Rotary Club meeting, Flores asked for a collective effort in the information flow. “What I need in this room is to collectively give us information, because what you may see out there may not be apparent to you but it could mean a lot to us.”
The main plan to thwart Darknet drugs is to rely on the public for information that can lead to the arrest of suspected traffickers and cybercriminals.
In February this year, the Mandaña Drug Task Force was formed to fight against drug trafficking indicating the seriousness of authorities to make Guam a drug-free island. It is normally difficult to arrest suspects on the Darknet; however, the Taskforce has been successful in their course of action. The key factor to the success of the program has been community involvement, and it is understandable to know why the custom officials stressed on the collective provision of information to track down criminals. In fact, about 95% of tips resulting in search warrants and arrests came from the community according to Joseph Cruz, Police Chief.
The Task Force does not only focus on raiding homes and arresting traffickers, they also undertake public outreach to deter people from using drugs and also help addicts. “It’s an effort for us to try to help the community to find their way in getting off drugs. If people don’t heed the advice to seek assistance before the criminal justice system gets them, they’re not doing themselves any favors,” said Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio.