Wednesday, February 27, 2013

InterContinental Drug Cartel Warfare?

Africa's drug cartels are no longer content to simply be mules for moving Latin America's drug cartels' product into Europe.   Now they're even moving into the Latin American gangs' home turf.

"...the West African traffickers have grown up, in a way, instead of working as couriers underneath the Latin American cartels. The West African cartels are now shipping cocaine by sea, a safer alternative for traffickers than high-risk smuggling on commercial planes, which can more easily be interdicted by police. Nigerian criminal groups have also moved to take control of cocaine exports in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, where most of the Africa-bound coke leaves the continent. Latin American gangs are left to sell coke to the locals.

"'In the end, the gross volume of drugs transiting the region is less relevant than the way West Africa interacts with it,' according to the report. 'It appears a growing share is not merely the property of Latin Americans making use of West African logistic services, but that West Africans are playing an increasingly independent role in bringing the drugs into their region.' The report also notes: 'Over time, Latin American involvement in the region appears to have declined, and so has the average seizure size.'"

The African cartels are also cooking meth. According to the report, there’s now evidence of large-scale methamphetamine production in Nigeria, along with trafficking in the region growing rapidly since 2009. Ephedrine, an organic compound used in decongestants and a commonly-used precursor for meth, is loosely regulated in West Africa and hard to track.

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