Cocaine trafficking in West and Central Africa valued at $800 million

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Approximately $800 million is generated annually from cocaine trafficking in West and Central Africa, according to the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Yuri Fedotov briefed the Security Council on Tuesday on the impact of transnational organized crimes on peace, security and stability in West Africa and the Sahel.

He told the Council that these cross-border challenges in the region have evolved from social and criminal problems into threats to security, stability and development.

Mr. Fedotov said the West African transit route feeds a European cocaine market which grew four-fold in recent years reaching an amount almost equal to the United States market.

"We estimate that cocaine trafficking in West and Central Africa generates some US$900 million annually. South American drug cartels are exploiting regional vulnerabilities in West Africa: poverty, unemployment, lack of border control, weakness of law enforcement structures, and endemic corruption. For these criminals, West Africa represents not only the shortest, but also the most cost-effective channel for trafficking illicit drugs to Europe."

Duration: 27"

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