The United Nations (UN) proposes the implementation of greater regulation on cryptocurrencies to stop the boom in the drug market through the darkweb (known as the dark web).
This was revealed in the annual report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released last Thursday, June 24, 2021 in the city of Vienna, Austria. The text indicates that currently the narcotics market generates annual sales of USD 315 million.
The report pointed out, in a section devoted to the role of technology in the drug trade, that the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the digitization of this market, with less street sales and more through the web, in addition to an increase in drug purchases via the internet and delivery by mail.
The document highlighted that in the future a globalized market for illegal drugs may be created on the Internet, with which it fears that access will be facilitated and that this affects consumption patterns. A good part of these transactions are carried out with cryptocurrencies, as they emphasize.
The publication assures that rapid technological innovation, combined with the agility and adaptability of drug traffickers, who now use new online platforms to sell drugs and other illicit substances, will likely increase the availability of drugs.
The globalized drug market, which is likely to develop through the Internet, will require a global response with innovative but human rights-compatible tools.
Annual report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
What is stated in the report in relation to the use of cryptocurrencies in the world of drug trafficking and terrorism is part of an opinion matrix, which is currently being dismantled, based on a series of investigations that show that the link between cryptocurrencies and criminal acts is not that strong, as this communication medium has reviewed in previous publications.
In this sense, a study by the European Parliament showed that there is hardly a small number of documents and confirmed cases of terrorist financing, which involve crypto assets. However, the international body does not rule out that the interest of terrorist groups in cryptocurrencies increases.
The UN asks to regulate cryptocurrencies to stop the sale of drugs on the internet. Source: Wikipedia.
The drug puzzle in Latin America
The world drug problem in Latin America is also touched on in the UN document. In this section he revealed that Cocaine trafficking between South America and Europe is the world’s second largest drug route and continues to evolve.
The text clarified that Coca cultivation area decreased globally by 5% in 2019, largely due to the first significant drop in cultivation in Colombia in the last six years. Despite this, that country continues to be the largest source of cocaine in the world.
The study warned that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting socio-economic consequences could increase the vulnerability of farmers and create incentives for them to continue producing coca leaves.
In the end, the document talks about the positive trends that he observed in his study. It says the increased use of technology during the pandemic also generated innovation in drug addiction prevention and treatment services. This through more flexible healthcare models such as telemedicine, which allows healthcare professionals to expand their reach and provide medical or preventive care to more patients.
Regarding the use of bitcoin by drug traffickers in Peru, Colombia and Bolivia, there is already a precedent that was outlined by CriptoNoticias on May 1, 2021. Due to this irregular fact, a UK court handed down 13 and 10 years’ imprisonment respectively.
The defendants managed to earn about $ 5 million in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for its operations for two years. They used LetsWork and TheOnlyLw, two dark web sites, to run their retail and wholesale business operations. Payments had to be made using cryptocurrencies.