The most popular dance floor drug is becoming easier to find and new reports indicate that Israel-based criminals may play a big part in the global distribution of ecstasy.
One of the most puzzling and confusing features of the illegal drug trade is its amazing flexibility. Until recently, nobody saw Israel as a serious player in these waters, but it may be the time to reassess such a conclusion. According to official documents released by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Israeli gangs are teaming up with Russian mobsters in an effort to control the flow of ecstasy across the international borders. The main market exploited by this alliance is located in Europe, although its tentacles reach across the ocean and suck tons of cash from the lucrative North American cities.
This situation is a stark departure from just 15 years ago, when ecstasy production was mainly concentrated in Netherlands, Belgium and Poland. Netherlands is still the source for most of the pills, but it appears that Israeli players have become firmly entrenched as middlemen capable of transporting the drugs across tightly guarded borders. Some of the methods used for smuggling into the U.S. include commercial flights, air cargo and mailed packages, although there may be other tactics used that the police still don’t know about.
Ecstasy pills contain MDMA as the active substance, and have been illegal for decades. However, the cases of fake pills loaded with untested chemicals have become commonplace in recent years, owing largely to the illegal distribution channels that are impossible to monitor. The fact that ecstasy distribution is now squarely in the hands of international criminal syndicates is troubling, as it implies that ruthless individuals with profits on their minds are running the show right now. Legalization of MDMA is nowhere in sight, so news of this nature should be taken as the new normal.
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