|Handel Merchant Group|
|Headquarters||Various Safe Houses|
|Purpose||Trafficking drugs, weapons and human cargo for profit.|
|Form||Contraband Distributors Front|
|Opposition||Various Military and Law Enforcement Groups|
The Handel Merchant Group is the front for a powerful criminal group that specializes in the distribution of contraband. Handel specializes in the "big three" of illegal goods, being drugs, weapons and people.
The origins of Handel are quite vague, as their illegal dealings are well hidden from the public and law enforcement agencies in the various countries the operate in. The front for the criminal ring is also not well known, especially within Central, as most of the groups dealings, legal or otherwise, are done closer to the border of Amestris and far away from Central. The earliest documentation of the Handel Merchant Group go back to the year 1897, but record is the group criminal activity actually go back several years prior, before their clever front was established to mask their activities.
The way in which the group functions is unprecedented among criminal organizations. The three sections of the group, being product acquisition, storage and distribution are all run separately, each section having various divisions operating in different areas. For this reason, the criminal group is extremely difficult to take down, as eliminating one group only deal with a fraction of the activity. In addition, as long as other groups are in effect, it is rather easy for new groups to be established to replace old ones. How this elaborate system came about is a mystery, but since the group has been distributing its product for nearly three decades, no one can deny its effectiveness.