A page-turning account of the international cocaine trade,
presented as five lessons in how to move tons of the drug across
Forget about cocaine concealed in false-bottomed suitcases or
swallowed in ovules resistant to gastric juices. When entire
national economies are kept afloat by the money from cocaine
smuggling, the quantities these tactics represent are meaningless.
When a commodity like cocaine becomes a mainstay of the
international economy, grams and kilos are irrelevant. Because what
is needed to sustain the market is cocaine by the ton.
Tons of cocaine means ships, cargo planes, and containers: large,
cumbersome, extremely tangible, and visible amounts of white
powder. So how is all that merchandise moved through harbors and
airports? How are customs offices deceived, fiscal checks eluded,
police networks infiltrated, and documents prepared to disguise
mountains of cocaine?
It's done with coca made into cubes, dissolved in liquid, hidden in
marble blocks or inside electric cables. With friends in the right
places. With cocaine smuggled in cranes. With sniffer dogs supplied
to the police, free of charge. With money in cash, always. And yes,
with willing mules swallowing drugs. But they will be arrested, and
that's part of the plan.
Drawing from years of research and conversations with criminal
sources and convicted drug smugglers, with new information on the
techniques, methods, and strategies used, Luca Rastello brings us a
devastating portrait of the international cocaine trade. Told from
the perspective of the formidable entrepreneurs whose tactics
evolve and adapt to keep pace with shifts in the global economy, "I
Am the Market "is a masterful expose of a world we thought we
Farrar Straus Giroux
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