West Africa: A growing drug trafficking hub


Cocaine. West Africa is an important transit region for cocaine trafficked from South America into Europe, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 

Photo credit: File

What you need to know:

  • In June, the UN's drugs and crime office (UNODC) said that the amount of cocaine seized on the continent had grown tenfold between 2015 and 2019, rising from 1.2 to 12.9 tonnes.
  • Tramadol seized in West and Central Africa accounted for 86 percent of the global total between 2015 and 2019.

West Africa is a small but strategic hub for smugglers moving drugs from Latin America to Europe and the Middle East.


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