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The rise seems to be following a worldwide trend.
It seems that women have outpaced men in the Canadian coke smuggling game in recent years.
As reported by Global News, cocaine smuggling into the Great White North has been rising steadily for at least the last four years and women now move more of the drug across Canada’s border than men.
Global’s numbers—which they got from intelligence reports circulated by Canadian Border agents—saw that there were more pounds of coke seized at airports from 2012 to 2015 from women than there were from men. While there were less actual seizures from women (223) than men (281) they were bringing in more bang for their buck—812 kg from woman opposed to the 681 kg from men. According to Global, airports are now the main route for the smuggling and the primary transit hubs involved in these seizures were Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.
The monetary amount of all cocaine seized by border officials in 2016 beat 2015 by $30.5 million—$94.5 mil to $64 mil. Global reports of one document stated that “comparing year to date in 2016 and 2015, both the number of seizure (+79 percent) and overall volume (+201 percent) of cocaine have increased.” Drug seizures in general are also up, from a little more than 1,000 in 2015 to 1,160 in 2016.
It’s important to note that the women involved in this type of activity are most often vulnerable and come from areas of extreme poverty. A UN report from 2014, states that research indicates that women’s “women’s involvement in drug use and the drug trade reflects the decreased economic opportunities and lower political status that women face in everyday life.” The report also states that women’s involvement in the drug trade was on the rise worldwide and that “while there are exceptions, women are delegated low-ranking, low-paying, high-risk positions.”
One aviation expert that was contacted by Global said that the seized amount was just the “tip of the iceberg” compared to what actually made it into the country.
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