Stories about mafias are often driven by ethnic stereotypes.
An artist’s sketch of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán at a 2018 pretrial hearing in a Brooklyn Federal courthouse.
Elizabeth Williams via AP, File
With its tales of bloody violence, corruption, international trade and entrepreneurial innovation, Guzmán's trial offers a telenovela-style explainer on Mexican cartels and their American clients.
Searches and arrests across Europe in December 2018.
Working abroad can be a profitable option for members of criminal groups.
Since California passed the first medical marijuana law in 1996, 30 US states and the District of Columbia have legalised medical marijuana.
People opposing medical marijuana are often concerned about increased crime rates, but analysis of city-level data across the US found medical marijuana laws have little effect on crime.
Canada is on track to legalize marijuana on July 1. But why was it criminalized in the first place?
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada is legalizing marijuana on July 1. But how the drug became criminalized in the first place is an interesting saga that involves anti-Chinese racism and international influence.
Australian Federal Police/AAP
Small quantities of drugs are getting past customs and then being used to create much bigger batches of illegal drugs like synthetic heroin.
Brazil’s jailhouse preachers may not explicitly condone violence against people of other faiths, but they’ve remained largely silent as their well-armed followers wage a holy war.
As hard-line Pentecostalism spreads across Brazil, some drug traffickers in gang-controlled areas of Rio de Janeiro are using religion as an excuse to attack nonbelievers.
An addict prepares heroin in Lamu on the east coast of Kenya.
South Africa is only one piece in a larger puzzle of the heroin trade along the continents east coast.
Australians are increasingly using darknet marketplaces to buy and sell illicit drugs.
Despite the growth in darknet drug trading in Australia, there are important reasons why it is less harmful than street drug dealing.
Billions of dollars are lost yearly to illegal fishing, with West Africa being one of the worst-affected regions.
Commander, US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th/Flickr
Crime on the ocean is not only about illegal fishing – it ranges from drug smuggling to human trafficking and modern-day slavery as well.
Drug traffickers and their ilk are not bothered by borders now, and they'll be even less concerned if Britain leaves the EU.
It’s not the first time attempts have been made to block WhatsApp in Brazil.
It's a battle of online privacy versus a crackdown on crime, but is a total ban on the popular app, WhatsApp, the right way to go?
Hard to get.
Morphine pills image via www.shutterstock.com.
Why are so many people in dire need of pain relief unable to access the powerful painkillers that are so commonly prescribed in the United States?
Stand-off: Colombian and Venezuelan police at the border.
With drug trafficking, turf war, and craven politicking all at work, Colombia and Venezuela's fraught relationship has taken a turn for the worse.
The many identities of Ross William Ulbricht.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Ross William Ulbricht, the tech-savvy Texan who created the Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on charges that equated him with a mafia boss.
Breaking the chains.
Using a smuggled mobile phone, an imprisoned opposition leader has summoned the people of Venezuela to the streets again. Could it bring down Maduro?
Bali Nine member Scott Rush’s father alerted the AFP to his son’s plans in the hope they would stop him from travelling to Indonesia.
The AFP revised the guidelines on international co-operation since alerting Indonesia to the Bali Nine but there is arguably still an imbalance between security and human rights considerations.
Jakarta says no to clemency.
Indonesia is preparing to execute several foreign convicts for drug trafficking, and has rebuffed their countries' pleas for clemency. That may be illegal.
Papering over the cracks of the war on drugs.
There are stories some people might not expect to read about Iran – and its progressive drugs policy is one. As a number of countries begin to slowly reconsider their approach towards illicit drugs, following…
Harsh immigration policy makes it hard to stop abuse of migrant children.
Over the past few years, policy-makers, academics and practitioners have paid more and more attention to children who are trafficked into and within the UK. But while children are trafficked for various…