Maritime Security Report [January 1997]   [open pdf - 156KB]

This issue of the Maritime Security Report focus on the increased drug smuggling via the Caribbean, Global business and Government cooperation to stem maritime cargo crimes, and the Department of Transportation's policy on port security. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials assert that the use of legitimate commercial maritime freight containers by smugglers to conceal large shipments of cocaine is a fact supportable by many investigations and drug seizures. According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), smuggling via commercial vessel is the primary maritime method for shipping drugs through the Caribbean transit zone. Because of the relatively low risk to the trafficking organizations, this cocaine smuggling method and pattern is likely to continue.--Vulnerabilities in the international commercial shipping cycle of freight containers are being exploited by transnational organized crime groups to commit a variety of cargo related crimes. Companies at all levels of the shipping cycle are often made unwitting accomplices in cargo related crimes, such as shipments of illegal narcotics and stolen goods, customs and shipping frauds, and money laundering. Victimized firms are sustaining significant financial losses, erosion of operating integrity, and diminished corporate reputation. Increased cooperative efforts between governments and the maritime industry are underway to reduce the international freight transportation systems vulnerabilities to exploitation by organized criminal enterprises.--Port Security: A National Planning Guide is the first document in a series that will include technical manuals on maritime security. These technical manuals will be produced through cooperative efforts of the U.S. Government and the commercial maritime industry.

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