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.