Region’s daily trafficking income estimated at $19 million

Drug traffickers make $19 million a day, according to U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven Shepro, who spoke at a regional security meeting last week.

He is director of the strategy, Policy and Plans directorate of the U.S. Southern Command. Defense and security leaders from 15 nations completed a two-day Caribbean region security conference in Trinidad and Tobago Thursday where they discussed illicit trafficking, support to law enforcement operations, and regional cooperation against transnational criminal organizations.
Notable among participant observations was a consensus that money generated by the illegitimate trade of transnational criminal organizations can flood local markets and adversely affect legitimate businesses, said the Southern Command in a summary of the meeting.

Shepro did not really give details of his estimate, according to the summary, but he did repeat an observation made by a Caribbean leader that “transnational crime is local crime somewhere.”

U.S. Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, head of the Southern Command, said that quickly and creatively traffickers are adjusting to counter illicit trafficking strategies.

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