Smuggling activity increases sharply

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Date: Sun Jul 8 06:37:53 2012 PDT
IC Date: Fri Oct 17 08:47:18 2414
Stardate: 91793.58

Earth (INW) - The latest figures released by the Galaxy Alliance Commerce Ministry points at an alarming trend. The transport and trade of illegal commodities, more commonly known as smuggling, is at an all time high. The profit margin on trading illegal good is at record highs while the lack of Starfleet border security is helping even small trade companies get in on the lucrative and illegal business practice.

According to the report, the most commonly smuggled goods through the GA are illegal weapons, drugs, and sentient slave traffic. Generally, those commodities originate from outside of the Galaxy Alliance and eventually end up somewhere inside the GA or pass through to unsavory neighbors. Either way, GA Commerce Undersecretary Marshall Branigan has called on Starfleet to step up it's border patrol activities and to start searching more vessels.

"We cannot allow smuggling of contraband to continue. It hurts the people of the GA, it hurts our economy, and it's morally wrong," Branigan said in a press conference last night. "Slave trade, unlicensed drugs... these are things we've outlawed for a reason. Starfleet must step up and protect the citizens and businesses of the Galaxy Alliance."

Branigan continued the press conference saying that he supported mandatory checkpoints for all trade vessels coming into GA Space, an idea generally found to be vastly unpopular.

In the coming weeks, Category:INW will launch a new multi-part series on the GA's smuggling problem. We'll cover Starfleet's response and the challenges they face as well as an in-depth investigation on where smuggled goods come from and where those products are ultimately headed.

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