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CRIMSON PUBLISHERS Forensic Science & Addiction C Wings to the Research Research
A New Era for Drug Trafficking: Drones
Zeynep Turkmen* and Merve Kuloglu
Institute of Forensic Sciences, Istanbul University, Turkey
*Corresponding author: Zeynep Turkmen, Institute of Forensic Sciences, Istanbul University, Turkey Submission: January 21, 2018; Published: February 16, 2018
In our contemporary World, drones (unmanned aerial vehicles-UAV) enter our daily life due to its increasing usage area. Looking at the history of drones, while they were used for military purposes at the beginning, nowadays they are adapting to a wide range of social activities from advertisements to extreme sport videos.
However, drones have been reported to be abused for illegal drug transfers along the country borders and within the countries. With this method, the most transported drug is methamphetamine, while the others are heroin, cannabis, and cocaine. Furthermore, the release of illegal drugs into prisons through the drones is a critical danger that our awareness must be raised.
In present study, cases and outbreaks of illegal substance transports via drones were examined through various search engines. In this respect, it is aimed to draw attention to such events and to contribute to take the necessary precautions at global scale.
Keywords: Drug trafficking with drones; Drones smuggling drugs; Drug transport; Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV); Aerial security
In our contemporary World, with the developing technology, drones enter our daily life due to its increasing usage area and wide price ranges. The word drone means “male bee” in English and describes shortly as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), appeared as a tool for surveillance in early 1900s Newcome  and Clarke . Nowadays, market demand is increasing, because the use of drone is considered as more effective and lower cost than other transportation means such as airplanes.
Drones can be categorized as their types (fixed wing, multi- propeller, etc.), degree of autonomy, size/weight and power source. These features can affect the payload capacity, cruising range and also maximum flight time. The technology used to fly a drone defines the drone’s type and also a decisive factor for the shape and appearance. Another remarkable feature is; the difference in magnitude between drones. Their size can range from an insect size to the size of a commercial flight. Weights are another key influence and can range from a few grams to hundreds of kilograms (Clarke , Vergouw et al. ).
The most important feature that determines the carrying capacity of the drones in relation to the transport of illegal substances subject to this study is the type of energy source they use. Lots of energy sources like battery cells, solar batteries and conventional aircraft fuels can be used (Boucher ).
They are also classified according to an additional device attached to the body of the drones. In practice, almost any device can be fitted to the drone to serve various purposes, but the weight
and dimensions of the loads are a major restraint. Drones are often equipped with cameras by their manufacturers. Moreover, other connection devices such as sensors can be added as well (Vergouw et al. ).
For a flight to take place, the drone needs a wireless connection with the person controlling it. There is also a connection needed with a camera or sensor that puts extra strain on the body. The frequency spectrum is required for these connections and this requirement depends on different factors such as device type and carrying capacity (Vergouw et al. ).
The aim of this study is while presenting every-day use of drones and its features contributing to the forensic science field, to emphasize the fact that their abuse for illegal substance transfer. The scope is to raise awareness about the prevention of crime and to give rise to thought what kind of security measures are needed in order to avoid such problems at an international level.
Materials and Method
Due to the limited number of articles and the lack of information on the subject, backward from January 2017, the literature has been searched by using the keywords “Drug trafficking with Drones”, “Drugs & Drones”, “Drone Regulations”, “Spy Drones”, via major bibliometric databases (Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Researchgate), as well as all web-based sites included judicial institution pages, newspapers and conference notifications through search engines such as Google and Bing in order to find cases involving illegal substance transfers and trades with drones.
Volume 2 - Issue - 2
Copyright © All rights are reserved by Zeynep Turkmen.
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