Criminals are some of the most creative people you can find, which leads them to become early adopters of innovative technologies. If a gadget can help make some dirty cash, you can bet criminal organizations will be keeping an eye on it and taking advantage of the doors (or skies) it can open.
Events like CES is where the latest technologies are given the stage light and shown before the world. It’s also were bloggers, journalists and analysts discuss all the latest technological topics before heading home and writing about them. We were at CES 2015 just a couple of weeks ago, where we brought you all the coverage you could ask for. Let us take you into one of the many tech-related conversations we had.
Somehow, the fact that I am from Tijuana always makes its way into our conversations. My hometown is very well known for its food, night life and… of course, its extensive organized criminal activity. The Tijuana/San Diego border is the busiest in the world, and it is a huge market for lucrative drug trafficking.
We found ourselves talking about what kind of non-industry-related people attend CES as we walked the show floor. It’s obvious you will find many business people and enterprise leaders looking for new solutions to better operate their businesses. That’s when our very own Roland (from the German site) mentioned there are probably a lot of criminals around… many likely from my hometown, Tijuana.
Drones are the perfect drug mule!
I was wondering what he meant for a minute, then we found ourselves talking about the benefits of taking drugs from one side of the border to the other using drones. That is when it really hit me – drones are likely the perfect drug trafficking mule.
Think about it. Drones are relatively small and quiet, which makes them very hard to detect. Their relatively short range would also be no issue for a border like Tijuana/San Diego, as these cities are separated by a mere fence. I have been at parties that literally sit right next to the fence that separates these cities. Furthermore, people have been known to play volleyball using this fences as nets.
Drones have also become so advanced that most people can fly them proficiently with a bit of practice; and they can carry a hefty amount of weight. Price is a huge factor, and drones are now affordable enough to easily replace human mules.
And if all that wasn’t enough of an incentive, there are no repercussions if a shipment happens to be intercepted by authorities. Drones can’t “rat you out” and it’s pretty much impossible to detect where the remote pilot is, which means no one is going to jail. What else can a drug trafficker ask for?
This easily beats human mules, drug-packed cars, scuba divers, boats and air-conditioned tunnels. Which, by the way, are well-known mediums for transporting illegal products through the border. The other most efficient technique is probably the use of potato guns, which have become popular lately, but don’t offer the control drones do.
Two weeks later, the first drone tries to take drugs from Tijuana to San Diego
The thought took room in my mind as an ingenious idea that I thought was a bit insane – but what do you think? Fast-forward two weeks and the craziest news story hits our feed. The first drone drug mule has crashed in Tijuana, very close to the San Diego border.
It was a hexa-copter carrying 6 pounds of crystal meth. We suppose the drone wasn’t ready to carry so much weight, as the amount of drugs is said to be the main reason for the drone’s forced landing in a parking lot of a super market in the Mexican city of sin.
The crash was reported by a citizen and Mexican authorities confiscated the illegal drugs. They are now investigating the sources of said cargo, but it seems they won’t have an easy time getting those responsible of the unusual incident.
We are stepping into a new era, where unmanned vehicles and drones will be becoming the standard. Sadly, we can’t always have nice things. These forward-driving technologies will continue being used for illegal activities and governments across the world will start regulating them. This means it won’t be easy for us to do good things with these gadgets, either.
We totally called it, and now I realize there is definitely a chance were standing next to big drug cartel members at CES 2015. But as we stand looking at the most advanced drones the industry has to offer, we also have to wonder how these acts will affect the industry. People are already scared enough as it is.
How do you think the future of unmanned drones and self-driving vehicles looks? In a weird and messed up way, these criminals are actually pioneers. Tell us what you think in the comments below!