Smuggling typically refers to the act of transporting some object into or out of a location in a way that is against the laws of that location. There are a number of different ways in which this action can occur, and many different products that are liable to be smuggled from one location to another. A great deal of this activity occurs in the form of objects that are illegal in a particular country or region being secretly brought into that area. Smuggling is also often done to surpass any taxes or legal conditions placed on the import or export of various items.
There are many different types of smuggling, and the laws of a country or region will typically indicate what activities are considered illegal. In general, smuggled goods are usually taken across a border, such as from one state into another, from one country into another, or into or out of a particular building such as a prison. It is this transportation of the object across the border of two distinct locations that constitutes the act of smuggling. There are many different objects that can be smuggled, depending on various laws, situations, and the demands of illegal markets.
Some of the most common forms of smuggling are those that involve transporting an item that is illegal in a particular area into that area. This often involves narcotics or weapons. There is also a tremendous amount of human smuggling, or human trafficking, which occurs in an effort to avoid the immigration laws of various countries. Many of the people smuggled through such trafficking operations are then forced by their smugglers into various forms of labor once they reach their destination, since their presence in the new area is illegal.
Other types of smuggling often arise in an effort to move otherwise legal items into or out of a country in a way that avoids taxes or other legal conditions. Goods such as certain foods, narcotics, and weapons may all legally be transported into some countries, but there is often a tariff or fee that must be paid on such products. Smugglers often transport such products into and out of countries illegally in an effort to avoid these fees and make greater profits on the sale of such items. When those involved in smuggling are discovered, they typically face jail time and punitive fines, as well as the seizure of the goods being smuggled.