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Market for Amphetamine-type Stimulants and their Precursors in Oceania

NCJ Number
Andreas Schloenhardt
Date Published
149 pages
This research study examined the market for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) in Oceania including Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, and the involvement of criminal organizations in the ATS market.
This study demonstrates that the economic incentives for involvement in the illicit market for ATS in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands) are considerable at the production, trafficking, and retail levels. The manufacture, trafficking, and sale of ATS are financially extremely lucrative and tend to be more profitable than the markets for narcotic substances, such as heroin or cocaine. Given the high profitability of the ATS trade in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, further expansion of the market can be expected. It is anticipated that more criminal entrepreneurs, whether small or isolated, or large and ongoing, will try to exploit this lucrative market, resulting in greater production and availability of ATS in the region. Some parts of the illicit ATS production and trade are already dominated by large criminal organizations. Organized crime is also moving into other aspects of the illicit ATS trade, such as precursor production, diversion, and trafficking, and is increasingly spreading the ATS industry into the smaller and more remote markets of the Pacific Islands. Strategic knowledge about the nature and level of involvement of criminal organizations and other operators in the ATS market in Oceania is limited. It is the purpose of this study to collect and review the existing documentation on the illicit ATS industry in the region, explore the criminal elements involved in that industry, and analyze current legislative frameworks at domestic and international levels. It aims to examine the volume and scale of the illicit ATS market, discuss the level and patterns of organized crime involvement in the ATS market, analyze existing mechanisms at international and domestic levels to criminalize the organized illicit trade in ATS in the region, and develop recommendations for law reform and policy change. Figures, tables, list of abbreviations, and references