"Colombia: massive bust suggests drug mules are swallowing wads of dirty cash "

Hey all! Welcome back to another Thursday Current Event (I’ll figure out a cool name for this series at some point, buuuut Thursday Current Events is what it’s gonna be for now).

So today, I read an article about people smuggling $40,000-$75,000 worth of money overseas. Now, initially, the article said “mules” so I legit thought they were mules. It’s just a term they use for the people who smuggle things overseas. Whether that’s, drugs, money or valuable, I guess the term “mule” is used. I went through half the article until I realized it wasn’t a real life animal mule lol. It was a person.

Back to the article. So just today authorities in Bogota, Columbia arrested 27 people accused of swallowing money and smuggling it into the South American nation from Mexico. It is said that these “mules”/people can generally swallow up to 120 pellets of cash in which $500 are in each capsule. Each person generally smuggles an average of $40,000 for $1500. Generally, goods were smuggle and it seems that smuggling straight cash has become the new fad as drugs can cause potential death (and loss of product) if the container protecting the goods from bodily fluids breaks. It is said that the gangs in Columbia and Mexico are both linked as Columbia generally produces the goods, while Mexico moves them.

I found this article very interesting because, for one, why would you smuggle $40,000 work of goods over when your cut is barely a fraction of what you are moving? Desperate times, call for desperate measures I guess. I did learn a few new things today reading this article though. I learned that. “Columbia is the world’s top cocaine produce, producing  a record estimated 1,379 tonnes last year - up 31%.” I also learned that the term “mule” is used to call the person who is smuggling the goods overseas. It’s very interesting that this particular drug seems to be on the rise and increasingly popular.

With the rise of this drugs popularity and the innovativeness of smugglers trying to move product overseas, it makes me wonder if they will eventually legalize and monitor this as well as other drugs that have been a problem. Will authorities be increasing their protocol for those who are traveling now? What are your thoughts on this topic?

Resources:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/06/colombia-bogota-airport-drug-mules-bust-swallowing-cash