Introduction It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that the world has become a much smaller place. The pace and thrust of globalisation in all its manifestations, from the e-enabled communications revolution, liberating low-cost travel, and the internationalisation of financial markets (however flawed) are defining characteristics of our times. Undeniably, many human economic and democratic benefits occur because of it. But equally undeniably, organised crime (or in some cases, more correctly, disorganised crime) has recognised the opportunity that the globalised condition brings to their distorted capitalist enterprises. International law enforcements efforts, under-funded and adopting the traditional back-foot posture, have encountered all of its ethical and practical challenges more eloquently recorded in other chapters of this book than here. It is just that the attendant risks can be as high, in some cases fatally so. ‘Abroadia’ is, indeed, a complicated place in which to operate. Part of my preparation for writing this chapter entailed a review of my operational diaries covering some twenty-eight years of intelligence and enforcement activities in the international arena. If I can be permitted personal recollections there would be only four:
• The look of incredulity on the face of a head of a developed country’s policing agency when told that all (yes, all) of his country’s operations against the cocaine trade over a four year period were nugatory. This was because their head of Spanish transcription and translation had been taking a walk in the park with an emissary of the Escobar organisation and downloading and giving him the police agency’s target data. No one died, no one was hurt; it was just that all the operations failed (save for the ones that the Escobar organisation decided were loss leaders or those that implicated their competitors).