Interpol: Sharp rise in drug trafficking in Africa

Drug trafficking has risen sharply in Africa, which has become a favoured transit point for smugglers moving drugs from Latin America to Europe, a senior Interpol official said on Monday.

“Africa is a region where drugs are produced, consumed and trafficked,” said the international agency’s executive director of police services, Jean-Michel Louboutin, at the opening of a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania.

“Western Africa has become a favoured transit point for cocaine traffickers moving the drugs from Latin America to Europe,” he said, speaking at the eighth Interpol meeting of heads of African national drugs services.

“During the past three months alone, cocaine seizures totalling nearly 7 000kg have been reported to Interpol by police forces across West Africa,” the international law enforcement agency said in a statement.

About 150 representatives of African police services were gathered in Arusha in a bid to define strategies and foster increased cooperation to combat drug trafficking on the continent.

“Long and porous borders of most African countries coupled with the problem of meagre resources make it almost impracticable to do effective law enforcement in all potential entry and exit points,” Tanzania’s inspector general of police, Saidi Ally Mwema, said.

“These challenges require an international approach. The war against the drug trade and abuse needs greater international cooperation through exchange of information, collaboration and coordination of our joint operations.”—AFP

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