ILLEGAL ARMS DEALING
The global trading of illegal arms is prevalent world-wide... and Sinclair never thought twice about the consequences of his extremely lucrative 'business'.
Instead of writing on this subject myself, I would like to thank http://www.smallarmssurvey.org for allowing me to reproduce their succinct article on illegal arms dealing.
This is the excellent article from the Small Arms Survey:
"The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons occurs in all parts of the globe but is concentrated in areas afflicted by armed conflict, violence, and organized crime, where the demand for illicit weapons is often highest. Arms trafficking fuels civil wars and regional conflicts; stocks the arsenals of terrorists, drug cartels, and other armed groups; and contributes to violent crime and the proliferation of sensitive technology.
Black market trafficking usually takes place on a regional or local level; publicly available data suggests that the multi-ton, inter-continental shipments organized by the ‘merchants of death’ account for only a small fraction of illicit transfers. Among the most important forms of illicit trafficking is the ‘ant trade’—numerous shipments of small numbers of weapons that, over time, result in the accumulation of large numbers of illicit weapons by unauthorized end users. Data analyzed in the Small Arms Survey 2013 indicates that thousands of firearms seized in Mexico are traced to the United States annually. These weapons are often purchased from gun shops in small numbers and then smuggled over the border. While individual transactions occur on a small scale, the sum total of the weapons trafficked into Mexico is large.
While most arms trafficking appears to be conducted by private entities, certain governments also contribute to the illicit trade by deliberately arming proxy groups involved in insurgencies against rival governments, terrorists with similar ideological agendas, or other non-state armed groups. These types of transfers, which are prevalent in Africa and other regions where armed conflict is common, are often conducted in contravention of UN arms embargoes and have the potential to destabilize neighbouring countries. In recent years, governments have covertly delivered tens of thousands of small arms and light weapons to various armed groups in Somalia despite a long-standing UN arms embargo. As revealed in the Small Arms Survey 2012, these weapons range from Kalashnikov-pattern assault rifles to third-generation SA-18 MANPADS, one of which was used to shoot down a Belarusian cargo aircraft delivering supplies intended for peacekeepers in March 2007.
The prices of illicit firearms and their relation to security dynamics have attracted interest among journalists and researchers for some time. In the Small Arms Survey 2013 finds a clear link between illicit market prices in Lebanon and reported fatalities during the first 19 months of the conflict in Syria. The particularly strong correlation between ammunition prices in Lebanon and fatalities in Syria underlines the value of monitoring ammunition prices. Yet available reporting from conflict zones has tended to neglect this important piece of the puzzle, focusing on prices for the most common weapons instead.
The Small Arms Survey 2014 reveals that newly produced ammunition is circulating in conflict-affected countries in Africa and the Middle East. Tracing investigations presented in this edition conclude that Sudan government stockpiles are the primary source of weapons for non-state armed groups of all allegiances in Sudan and South Sudan—both through deliberate arming and battlefield capture. Such arms monitoring is, however, increasingly hampered by the production of unmarked ammunition and the deliberate removal of weapons’ markings."
The machine gun, shown below left, is the AK-47, known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova - it is a gas-operated, 7.62×39mm assault rifle, designed and developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1945. He never received a royalty for each one made... officially, or unofficially - if he had, Mr Kalashnikov would have been one of the richest men in the world! It has been and still is widely copied around the world, being cheap and easy to manufacture, and virtually indestructible. The choice of all illegal arms dealers worldwide.
The weapon, shown below right, is an extremely portable, reusable, unguided, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Originally designed and manufactured by the Soviet Union, its low cost, extremely simple construction, and effectiveness has made it the most widely used anti-anything weapon in the world. Worldwide, forty + countries use the weapon, and it is manufactured by nine countries. The RPG-7 has been used by regular and guerrilla forces in almost all conflicts across the world.
A terribly lethal weapon.