Senegal, a transit country for cocaine trafficking – DW – 05/15/2024

Senegal, a transit country for cocaine trafficking – DW – 05/15/2024
Senegal, a transit country for cocaine trafficking – DW – 05/15/2024

Last April, Senegalese customs seized more than a ton of cocaine in the east of the country, on the border with Mali.

Butf cocaine trafficking towards Europe, via West Africa, continues to increase, this drug is, paradoxically, less consumed today than in the past in Dakar.

At least that’s what André says. Corréa, former cocaine user and independent consultant in the fight against juvenile delinquency.

According to him, “pCompared to the 1990s, cocaine consumption has fallen significantly, but transit has increased. In our time, in the 80s, we consumed it by sniffing and everything. Now they’ve turned her into stones, the young ones.”

Listen to the report in Dakar…

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In Dakar, the cocaine has disappeared from public space

Andrew Corréa wants to talk about crack, cocaine in the form of crystals which can be smoked and whose effect is much more powerful.

A few years ago, we still observed areas of crack smoking in Medina, Grand Dakar, Parcelles Assainies and almost everywhere in Dakar. Each city had a smoking area. But today, we hardly find any anymore.

Senegal is in fact more of a cocaine transit country with extremely dense trafficking in the sub-region, indicates Amado Philip de Andrés.

THE regional representative for West and Central Africa of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, explains that “if we compare seizures between 2019 and 2024, of course seizures and trafficking of cocaine to West Africa are clearly increasing. Guinea Bissau is no longer the main gateway. We have seen seizures in Cape Verde, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Ivory Coast. We have also seen an increase in cocaine trafficking to Togo and Benin.

Getting off drugs, difficult but possible

Record seizures in the Sahel countries

Between 2019 and 2022, more than 17 tonnes of cocaine were seized in Cape Verde. Seizures have also increased along the Gulf of Guinea with more than ten tonnes of cocaine seized through March 2024.

Added to this are record seizures in the Sahel countries, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, which are on the trafficking route to Europe.

Mor Gassama, a Senegalese economist, notes that “traffic is extremely dense, but Dakar still remains a transit zone, even if part of it risks being consumed on site. Which is not good news firstly for the health of the populations, but also that will encourage the circulation of illicit money.”

In recent years, UNODC has worked extensively with member countries on strengthening border control in the fight against drug trafficking and serious crime in Africa, highlightede Amado Philip de Andrés.

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