Can smart ports curb drug trafficking?

COVID-19 measures are making maritime routes the preferred target for drug smugglers.

by Richard Chelin and Denys Reva

Seizures of large quantities of drugs such as cocaine, heroin and others at seaports have risen worldwide. The increase in shipping operations coupled with large container ships doubling in size in the past couple of years has provided an attractive mode of transport for drug traffickers.

African ports are also subject to this global trend as shown in major seizures at seaports in 2019. At the Port of Dakar, 798 kg of cocaine were confiscated – the largest drugs haul made at this port. And in Mauritius harbour, 90 kg of cocaine was seized.

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