411 kg Cocaine Seized Off Coast of Abidjan; 3 Ghanians Arrested

Source: Jeune Afrique / Baudelaire Mieu

February 04: Ivorian authorities seized 411 kilograms of cocaine from three boats during an operation in territorial waters on Monday. The cocaine, which is estimated to be worth $40 million USD, was originally shipped on a vessel from Brazil.

The operation, launched Monday February 3, was closely followed by General Vagondo Diomandé, Minister of Security and Civil Protection,  who is currently outside the country. The Ivorian security forces, which had obtained “anonymous information”, intervened in territorial waters off the port of Abidjan. 

“The cocaine arrived from Brazil on a merchant ship. The cargo was then transhipped in three boats, in Ghanaian waters,” according to an anonymous security source. Three Ghanaians have been arrested and are currently in the hands of investigators. The drugs, meanwhile, were placed under seal on the premises of the Ivorian Navy.

“Spaghetti Connection”

Last June, a vast counter-narcotics operation led to the dismantling of a large international cocaine trafficking network. More than a dozen people were arrested in this crackdown of the network nicknamed the “Spaghetti Connection”, including six Italians, three Ivorians and a Frenchman.

The raid, carried out thanks to cooperation between French, Italian and Ivorian services, had also brought to light the involvement of members of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia, and of the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia. The sign, according to investigators, that the two Italian mafias have teamed up to make Côte d’Ivoire a transit zone for drugs destined for Europe. The “Spaghetti connection” case is currently being examined by the new financial department of the Court of First Instance in Abidjan.

Source: Jeune Afrique / Baudelaire Mieu

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