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Thread: How can drugs be smuggled easily around the world?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    How can drugs be smuggled easily around the world?

    Who are some of the major manufacturers of PLASTIC PARTS.. of very low cost plastic parts that are shipped in bulk readily and with minimal Customs oversight?

    We remember (yes?) at one point lead paint, and lead parts were being sold as toys from China.

    Some Chinese manufacturers to bump up an apparent "protein" indicator level for pet foods have actually put MELAMINE PLASTIC into the foods. They were caught doing this too to baby food and powdered milk.. A high reading that showed up like PROTEIN apparently was designed to cut the production cost of actual wholesome product and substitute PLASTIC as the filler. The plastic would shortly kill the consumer.

    But this is interesting -

    Abstract
    Drug smugglers have devised a scheme of compounding cocaine with polystyrene, and molding the resin into plastic parts for shipment.

    Their apparent aim was to recover the drug, after import into the U.S., by extracting the cocaine from dissolved resin. Evidence exposing the scheme was developed by a forensic chemist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Authorities suspect that this is not the first use of the scheme.

    The case began when Florida state authorities in Miami learned of traffic in certain solvents, acids, and bases characteristic of cocaine processing. Tracing these chemicals led them to a shipment of almost 30,000 cylindrical black plastic parts weighing about 1800 lb. However, usual wet chemical tests failed to detect cocaine in such a matrix.

    A simple solvent such as gasoline would dissolve the plastic leaving the drug free-base in solution. Vacuum removal of the solvent would allow for a pure substance.

    some references of drug encapsulation:


    Unable to be detected by normal checking.. Who is that country? China is noted for very low cost plastic parts. They are also noted for creating tons of Fentanyl, and the ultra-deadly W-18

    W-18: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29202454

    Chinese Fentanyl reference: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...-drug-kingpins
    Last edited by Bob, 25th June 2019 at 02:06.

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    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    Spanish police bust drug ring that smuggled cocaine-laced plastic - by Reuters, end of May 2019

    MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police have busted a cocaine-smuggling ring that dodged detection by mixing the drug with industrial plastic pellets before chemically removing it in three specially designed laboratories.

    Twelve people were arrested as part of the operation announced on Wednesday, which police hailed as the country’s biggest-ever seizure of cocaine-processing infrastructure.

    One of the laboratories, which are located in Madrid and Toledo, was capable of producing up to 500 kg (1,102 lb) of cocaine per month. The other two handled smaller volumes, a police statement said.

    As an ingredient of the plastic pellets, which are used to make items such as bottle tops and food containers, the cocaine could not be detected during routine customs checks. Chemicals and machinery were used to extract the cocaine at the processing laboratories.

    The crime ring was run by a family of Colombian origin, whose leader lived in a luxurious house on the outskirts of Madrid.

    Police, who did not say how much the gang was suspected of smuggling, said three Colombian experts on cocaine extraction had been brought in to work round-the-clock for 10 days at one of the laboratories.

    The plastic pellets are inserted into Injection Molding Machines where they are melted and extruded into any part that could be a gear, a steering wheel, a bicycle seat, a "doll"...

    In short the injection plastic with the drug encoded and perfectly encapsulated within cannot be detected by normal methods..


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    Senior Member Aianawa's Avatar
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    Dang, that's amazing, supply and demand still strong but lots of these peoples getting caught the last 18 moons, even with this sort of high tech, ?.

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    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    I would assume attention would be attracted if a new plastic extrusion company appeared, but not with sales to many customers..

    If they were special production for just some items, and those items end up going to a buyer who then doesn't actually SELL those items, but the items "disappear" (being ground up and solvent extracted), that would indicate suspicion..

    It is possible though, a customer can come to an existing extrusion company and say, "hey, I have my own plastic for my own special application" such as saying the plastic needs to have metal particle embedded for "shielding" purposes...

    That type of explanation would be plausible to an extrusion company, if the customer's plastic didn't clog up the machines...

    Tracking would be hard, but extrusion companies would be eager to take on custom jobs.

    A "gear" frequently for some custom apparatus is very hard to trace if a machine has the "gear" inside.. And end user customers if the "market" doesn't take off can go out of business, and nothing is ever thought further..

    Here is what the plastic looks like in the raw form:


    A small pellet making machine looks like this:


    And guess where it is made - CHINA..

    After the pellets are made (mixed with the product desired to be embedded), they can be used in an extrusion machine or a low temperature injection molding machine:


    Nothing would appear to look out of the ordinary as far as the machinery goes..

    No doubt some type of sealed room would be used if the mix contains something highly toxic .. (fentanyl or W-18)

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    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    In the above post the "industrial sized" machinery was discovered.

    However, a much smaller scale plastics system exists.

    We all have heard of 3D printing - where anyone with a nice 3D CAD (computer aided design) program and a XYZ axis "printer" can be linked together to make any sort of complex and pretty 3D object.

    Many unique art projects are being created using a 3D printer.

    What feeds the 3D printer? An extruded plastic filament.

    There are machines, table top machines that actually can make the plastic filament.

    Ever see the fly fishing mono-filament line? 3D printers use a thicker thread however.

    Here is a picture of a home-sized table top plastics grinder/melter/extruder machine.. The end result is a thin plastic filament which is then wound up on a spool.

    Any legitimate art or business using 3D printing can create with a special "mono-filament".. And once again, unless a precision chemical analysis or possibly an x-ray spectrographic analysis is performed on the "filament" there is no way to determine that the filament is anything else other than lets say "recycled plastic"..

    ref: https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/...diegogo-38384/

    3D PRINTING
    NEW DESKTOP GRINDER, PLASTIC RECYCLER AND FILAMENT EXTRUDER LAUNCHES ON INDIEGOGO

    What can the above table top machine produce?


    and such manufactured filaments are fed into a machine like this:


    which can produce a novel innocuous product that can be as simple and pretty as this:


    What narco-agent or customs agent would cut apart something like art? Art like that, duplicated museum grade pieces 3D "plastic" printed provide volume and have a legitimate "collectors" trade..
    Last edited by Bob, 25th June 2019 at 18:12.

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    I was fortunate enough to attend a talk at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham a few years ago. It was a remarkable talk from one of our deep thinkers (and to my shame I can't remember his name).

    Topics discussed were very varied, covering all sorts of subjects government need to address but that the public rarely hear of.

    Relevant to this thread was the discussion of daily international shipping container movements. We were told at the time it was about 1 million. The point was that it is completely impossible to check the contents of more than a tiny percentage to confirm their contents. Hence is it any wonder that people, drugs, weapons or anything else float about the world with impunity?

    Babs

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    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    Agree - I could start a thread on the container issue and what is and isn't working and what could be proposed.. There are multiple new techs appearing and probably some will be undue search without warrant grade..

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    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    And from the OP post #1

    Abstract
    Drug smugglers have devised a scheme of compounding cocaine with polystyrene, and molding the resin into plastic parts for shipment.

    Their apparent aim was to recover the drug, after import into the U.S., by extracting the cocaine from dissolved resin. Evidence exposing the scheme was developed by a forensic chemist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Authorities suspect that this is not the first use of the scheme.
    Poly-Sty-Rene (polystyrene) just add solvent and the plastic structure dissolves away.

    A short less than a minute video - (turn the volume down by the way)


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb6-hpe2KcY


    Consider that sometimes the hiding of things could be right under one's nose... Custom agents are looking for exotic plastic parts packed in boxes with something innocuous to make sure that the precious items within don't break.. But they are PACKED in what? Usually the most hated substance, the packing peanuts.

    The packing material itself is expanded polystyrene.. Just like the sytrofoam cup.. The hidden drug to be smuggled could be coupled to the styrene, then expanded into the packing material itself !


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tMTU_CkBHM


    There is a trend to make packing peanuts out of cornstarch, which can make them dissolve under hot water.. These type of packing peanuts would be discovered if they were imbued with cocaine for instance.. Some videos out there show the water soluble packing peanuts being "eaten" safely.

    IF an expanded conventional polystyrene packing peanut which was imbued with cocaine was eaten, the person would most likely become very sick and die..

    BUT there it is, potentially under one's nose (before it gets in ones nose), cocaine within the packing material itself, and not in the objects that the peanuts are protecting for "shipping"..
    Last edited by Bob, 29th June 2019 at 18:23.

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    Junior Member Silly Wabbit's Avatar
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    I thought that I had heard it all... Who knew? I couldn't imagine who thought up such a strange way to traffic something.. It seems that the financial reward in the end, along with the weakening of the society that receives such things, is a benefit for the other country as well.

    The more you get a nation hooked on dangerous drugs, the less likely they are to function in any meaningful way as a whole. I suppose it shouldn't surprise me, yet learning that drugs were being smuggled in the bodies of returning deceased soldiers also stunned me.

    What is this world coming to? I couldn't imagine all of the things that these agents must have to sift through, and how different they must feel about the most generic of items coming into ports. I would never have thought that they would go so far to hide drugs. Or anything for that matter,

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