Novel strategies in drug concealment

Julio de Carvalho Ponce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Drug concealment is a widespread tactic used by drug traffickers and distributors to hide their illegal cargo when transporting it within and across borders. Physical concealment-occluding visibility of the contents-is one of the simplest and most widely used methods. Imaging concealment-the attempt to avoid detection by coating drugs with layers or containers that reduce or impair interaction with electromagnetic detection techniques-is important when surveillance equipment, such as X-rays, is used. Drug traffickers may also attempt to carry drugs though body packing, i.e. ingesting or inserting drug packets into body cavities, which can represent a major health risk for those undertaking. More recently, drug traffickers have started using prodrugs and precursors as a strategy for transporting drugs across borders, which raises new challenges in drug classification and detection. It is important to adequately identify the strategies used, shortcomings in adequate detection, and update legislation to allow for the classification of chemically masked drugs of abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCases on Forensic and Criminological Science for Criminal Detection and Avoidance
EditorsAnna Chaussée, Liam James Leonard
Place of PublicationHershey. US
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781668498019
ISBN (Print)9781668498002
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2024
Externally publishedYes

Cite this