Controlled DeliveriesControlled delivery is tool that is employed by criminal prosecution authorities to effectively detected international organized crime. Procedures of controlled deliveries are generally not governed by definitive laws, but by the tactical discretion of the criminal prosecution authorities.

The principle followed in such regulated deliveries is: early intervention is as detrimental as too late intervention by the criminal prosecution authorities as this may minimize the potential success of the associated investigations.

In easy words, a controlled delivery refers to illegal transportation of drugs (including anabolic steroids) from a foreign country through domestic territory to facilitate arrival to a third country. The entire process is monitored by the criminal prosecution authorities to secure evidence against the organizers of such illicit drug traffic. The technique is followed in many countries to identify and bring to justice principals, financiers, and organizers of the illicit drug market.

According to Article 1 g) of the 1988 UN Convention against illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, controlled deliveries are defined as: “(…) the technique of allowing illicit or suspect consignments of (…) drugs (…) or substances substituted for them, to pass out of, through or into the territory of one or more countries, with the knowledge and under the supervision of their competent authorities, with a view to identifying persons involved in the commission of offences (…).”

Under the Convention, the parties shall take all the required measures within their reach to allow for the appropriate use of controlled deliveries at the international level with a view to identify individuals involved in offences and to take legal action against them. The decisions to use such deliveries shall be made on a case-to-case basis and can consider financial arrangements and understandings, when necessary, with respect to the exercise of jurisdiction by the parties concerned. Moreover, illicit consignments may be intercepted and allowed to continue with narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, removed or intact or replaced in whole or in part.

A Controlled delivery is made to facilitate movement of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, anabolic steroids, or substances substituted for them to pass out of, into, or through the territory of one or more countries, with permission and under supervision of competent authorities for identifying persons involved in the commission of offences. These deliveries are facilitated for identifying, arresting, and convicting law violators, dismantling smuggling/trafficking organizations, broadening broaden the scope of investigations, identifying additional and higher level violators, and ascertaining knowledge on transporters, receivers and managers, and to identify assets for seizure/forfeiture.

The criminal prosecution authorities can take necessary steps for early destruction or lawful disposal of the narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances that have been seized or confiscated and for admissibility as proof of duly certified necessary quantities of such substances. The involved parties may endeavor for monitoring movement of goods and persons in free trade zones and free ports and empower competent authorities to look out for search cargoes and incoming and outgoing vessels, including pleasure craft and fishing vessels, as well as aircraft and vehicles and search passengers, crew members, and their baggage if deemed appropriate. The parties may endeavor for setting up and maintaining surveillance systems in harbor and dock areas and at airports and border control points in free trade zones and free ports or creating and maintaining system(s) for detected consignments suspected of containing narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and substances, passing into or out of free trade zones and free ports.


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