International Drug Trade at Crisis Level

Following this year’s seizure of 1.3 tonnes of pure cocaine at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, the threat of the Latin American drug market’s expansion to the west has been laid bare.

International Drug Trade at Crisis Level

Contributor: Richard de Silva

Following this year’s seizure of 1.3 tonnes of pure cocaine at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, the threat of the Latin American drug market’s expansion to the west has been laid bare, with international governments and agencies having to face up to the reality that narco-terrorist organisations are not only expanding their operations, but are often one step ahead.

The illicit cargo, worth an estimated $270m in street value, was found inside 31 unregistered suitcases on an Air France jet arriving from Caracas, Venezuela. According to the Venezuelan media, Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez confirmed that at least 22 nationals have since been arrested in connection with the smuggling operation, including eight members of the National Guard and nine Air France and airport staff. French officials have stated that the intended destination of the cocaine is believed to have been the Italian mafia based in Calabria which reportedly controls 80 percent of all cocaine imports into Europe. The bust comes one month after $155 million worth of cocaine was intercepted by the UK Royal Navy as it was on its way to the British Isles via the Caribbean.

Although Venezuelan authorities responded quickly to the seizure, a diplomatic spat subsequently broke out between Caracas and Washington over responsibility for the failure in border security. U.S. officials have accused Venezuela of not doing enough to stop the country from becoming the international transport hub for the drug trade, while Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hit back by accusing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of being a “transnational drug trafficking agency” riddled with “infiltrators”, and the U.S. government itself of facilitating the problem to tar Venezuela as a “narco-state”…

…read the full article at http://bit.ly/18X0xow.

 

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