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A bust in Hong Kong and Deviant Globalization

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The recent arrest of five Mexican nationals, one Colombian, and one American in Hong Kong has lifted the veil a little more on a growing demand market for cocaine in China and offers another example of deviant globalization.

In total, Hong Kong police seized just over a half ton of cocaine, likely destined to the wholesale cocaine markets in several Chinese cities, where millionaires abound.

The last bust I could find after a quick search occurred in May 2006, when Chinese authorities discovered 300 kilos of cocaine, which had allegedly arrived directly from Colombia.

Since the 1980s, Mexican criminals have slowly captured control over the supply of methamphetamines. Shortly after he escape from prison in 2001, El Chapo likely spurred his men to get deeper into the methamphetamine trade. Soon after, the Sinaloa Federation deepened ties in India, Thailand, and China to source ephedrine, the precursor for meth.

It makes sense that these same pipelines have evolved into two-way channels as business links develop. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that several cells of Sinaloa Federation operators are at work in China and India to develop cocaine demand markets in two of the world’s fastest growing economies.

It’s becoming harder to argue that Eastern Europe is the emerging market for cocaine. We will see what comes of this case in Hong Kong, due to go to court on 14 November 2011. Deviant globalization suggests that as the licit economy grows, so grows the illicit economy. The EU is mired in economic malaise while China and India continue to flourish. My bet is on Asia becoming the next emerging market for cocaine, if it hasn’t done so already.