After Russia’s Viktor Ivanov, Now Antonio Maria Costa: Stop Legalization Of Drug Trafficking
May 26, 2014 • 9:18AM

Antonio Maria Costa, former head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) blasted drug legalizers, where "addicts are seen as cash-cows--their illness turned into an Eldorado for unscrupulous investors." In face of the G7 sanctions against Russia and the sabotage of Russian Anti-Drug head Viktor Ivanov’s Rainbow 3 plan against cocaine and heroin, Costa’s speech at the May 19-20 Stockholm 4th World Forum Against Drugs is one of the few signs in the West that a fight against legalization is continuing.

Costa acknowledges that the drug mafias have become a major force despite prohibition efforts: "They have become the biggest winner of globalization, reaching macro-economic dimensions greater than many countries’ GNP, with a fire-power greater than many armies. In short, mafias now pose a threat to peace and security." This failure is "the result of collusion among so many players in society: politics, business, and finance. This is causing public opinion to think: ‘In order to restrain drug mafia, drug controls should be abolished.’ Let’s see why this is wrong."

First: he goes after what in effect is the London and Wall Street centered financial system: "My first concern is about the massive failure of anti-money laundering. Most money finds its way into the rich countries where it generates high revenues for legions of white collar crooks. Recall the spectacular case of the Wachovia Bank in the U.S., caught recycling billions of Mexican Sinaloa cartel money ($378.5 billion according to the U.S. Justice Department), a crime that resulted in no sanction for the bank’s senior management." And he added, the same for CitiBank, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS. "Ladies and gentlemen: bankers’ greed and regulators’ ineptitude are pushing public opinion to oppose drug control--and to lower health protection."

Second: "Big Money" -- "At present, big investors are positioning themselves in the expectation that drugs one day will be legal. Tycoons, venture capitalists, pharma-companies are all developing drug brands, with marketing plans to enter the drug trade; with electoral platforms to influence voters; and with campaign funds to influence elected officials." "In the future, there’ll be no more drug mafias with dark glasses and white shoes, but white-collar big drug investors who can even count on odd politicians who see promising tax revenue from the drug trade (think of California, or Arizona). Drug legalization was even suggested to Greece to avoid bankruptcy."

"Ladies and Gentlemen: after financial crisies, home foreclosures, job losses, the world doesn’t need more addiction and more death caused by drugs sold by big money. We must oppose drug legalization that causes privatization of (investors’) gain, and socialization of (public) health losses."

Antonio Maria Costa promised that in weeks his book, The Checkmate Pendulum, will be coming out, addressing "the links between crime, politics, and finance, in Europe and beyond." Costa intends to launch The Mammon Award for Outstanding Greed. And for those who know Antonio, he added a serious threat, "I have in mind a few financial tycoons, a few political leaders."