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Major cocaine seizure off Senegal’s coast highlights West Africa’s role in drug trafficking

Friday, 01 December 2023 03:53
Major cocaine seizure off Senegal’s coast highlights West Africa’s role in drug trafficking

(Ecofin Agency) - The UNODC has reported that West Africa serves as a transit zone for cocaine moving from South America to Europe, with notable production origins in Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia, involving a transatlantic journey.

In Senegal, the military authorities announced the seizure of nearly 3 tons of pure cocaine by the navy off the coast on Tuesday, November 28. The cargo was intercepted by a patrol vessel during the night of November 26-27, 2023.

"The FOULADOU patrol vessel seized nearly 3 tons of pure cocaine aboard a ship intercepted 150 kilometers offshore. The boat and its cargo were brought back on November 28, 2023, to the Admiral Faye Gassama Naval Base and handed over to the competent authorities," reported the Senegalese Navy.

This seizure, considered one of the largest in the country, rekindles concerns about drug trafficking in West Africa and its impact on a region grappling with significant political, socio-economic, and especially security challenges in its Sahelian part. Experts from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) argue that drug trafficking in Africa is a "true vicious circle," fueling organized crime and tensions among armed groups while financing them.

According to data released by the UNODC last June, 30 to 40 tons of cocaine and heroin transit through West Africa annually, with a value estimated at $1.25 billion in Europe. Between 2019 and 2023, the institution reports that 80 tons of cocaine were seized in West Africa, mainly in seven countries, including Cape Verde, Senegal, and Guinea.

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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