Over the past month, police and other law enforcement agencies from across the galaxy have reported a marked increase in smuggling infractions and drug related arrests, all originating from points along the Hydian Way before splitting off to other trade routes. Most experts suspect a Hutt influence is to blame, but none are ready to identify any particular clan as the primary pusher. With so many pirate groups operating in the affected areas, a thorough investigation will take time.
Both the New Republic and Imperial governments have commented on the topic, with New Republic Head of State Organa-Solo pledging to conduct more patrols and customs inspections to meet the rising demands of its member states and allies. Currently on the last leg of her inaugural tour, she offered words of reassurance:
“The safety of our citizens is paramount. The New Republic does not tolerate the spread of harmful goods and materials, and criminals will stand trial and be held accountable for their actions. I will not rest until our society is truly free and secure from evil and corruption.”
Former head of the Maw Installation and current Imperial leader Natasi Daala stated that the Empire has much stronger trade regulations, which make the trafficking of drugs, weapons and the like a much more dangerous prospect for Hutt crime syndicates and other such groups. In a recent broadcast she went into more detail:
“Within our borders, the law is precise and it is punitive. Malcontents know that conducting illegal business within the Empire isn’t just dangerous, it’s death. Rebel ‘rehabilitation centers’ are nothing more than a waste of taxpayer money and a slap in the face to all those affected by crime. In the Empire, there are no second chances for law breakers.”
With little influence in the affected territories, the New Republic dismissed Daala’s comments as nothing more than political posturing. Still, the Empire’s recent reorganization efforts are giving other galactic powers reason for pause.
Reports from Corellian authorities suggest the problem is not just limited to points along the Hydian Way. Investigations on Denon, Duro and Corellia itself have revealed traces of glitterstim spice and other powerful narcotics being smuggled into major cities and starports from the Corellian Trade Spine and the Corellian Run.
The Diktat claims to be handling matters, but many citizens are taking their dissatisfaction to the streets of Coronet, rallying and protesting in and effort to spur their government into action over its many missteps since the Empire officially ended its occupation of the Corellian Sector. Recently ousted Diktat leader Daclif Gallamby has yet to be replaced, leaving the Corellian Sector rudderless and in an unfortunate position.
Further investigation by Galactic News suggests that Corellia may be turning into a focal point for underworld activity. Piracy has claimed the lives of more than a thousand sentient beings in the last year in the Corellian Sector alone, while reports of drugs and gang violence have increased by nearly fifteen percent. Though no one is prepared to specify a reason, Corellia is taking the brunt of the crime surge.