The supply of methamphetamine/meth/ice to Europe and the Mexican Traffickers
On March 14, 2015 www.usnews.com published an article titled: "Nigerian drug agents say they have arrested four Mexicans helping Nigerian criminals build a 'super-lab capable of producing billions of dollars worth of methamphetamine" The article reported that the Nigerian authorities have arrested four Mexicans allegedly building an industrial meth lab in Delta State, Nigeria but the article further reported that the lab produced its first run of ice in February and at the time of the raid a production run was in train. The lab was in production rather than being built with the four Mexicans being production personnel. The article insinuates that the Mexicans were hired to teach the Nigerians the methodology involved in producing industrial grade ice. Mexican trafficking organisations (MTOs) do not sell their technological know how this lab was created in conjunction with Nigerian transnational organised crime who are affiliates of the MTOs. The MTOs maintain oversight control whilst the Nigerian affiliates must protect the lab, its personnel, the precursors, the final product and traffick the final product along with Mexicans according to the strategic plan laid out by the MTOs. MTOs place meth labs in areas close to their target consumer markets where the precursors are readily available. The ultimate aim is to locate meth labs within consumer markets but given the surveillance of precursors in the North Atlantic the option is to traffick the ice into consumer markets. The article reports that the ice produced in Nigeria is headed for Asia if so why not locate the labs in East Africa? Secondly the Asian market does not suffer from supply shortfalls as there are a number of producers from Asia in operation with no shortage of new suppliers entering the market. The problem in Asia is distribution from production points to the consumer. To traffick ice from Nigeria to Asia via Nigerian traffickers results in a premium price demanded for the product which only a limited clientele can afford. MTOs are proponents of mass marketing rooted in quality and affordable pricing. It is then apparent that the industrial meth labs of West Africa will be moving product to Europe along the cocaine trafficking routes. The European Drug Report 2015 indicates that the meth market in the EU is under supplied and expensive low purity product is available of the streets. The MTOs view this as a golden opportunity to expand the level of demand with a tsunami of high potency affordable priced industrial grade ice thereby creating a new drug market with longevity. One means chosen to create this new level of demand is to embrace Nigerian transnational organised crime utilising their human smuggling blended with human courier premier skills (mules and swallowers) to move ice to Europe. But this is not the only means to be utilised as the trafficking pipelines into Europe for cocaine will now carry ice also. There will be multiple labs across West Africa and eventually labs will be set up in East Africa and Asia as ice is the premier drug of choice of the MTTOs for Asia and the alternate to cocaine for Europe.