AIRCOP seizures in Cape Verde point to continuities and new developments in cocaine trafficking

The work of the Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces (JAITF) supported by the AIRCOP project at different airports in West Africa provide an important insight into the fluidity of international drug trafficking networks. Three seizures at Praia airport confirm the continuing importance of Cape Verde as a springboard for air couriers travelling to Europe. On 22 June, a Guinea Bissau national was apprehended with 789 grams of cocaine en route to Lisbon. How the cocaine arrives on the islands can be deduced from the arrest of another Guinea Bissau national arriving from Dakar with 884 grams on 27 June.

If both the routings and the involvement of Guinea Bissau were predictable, an arrest of three men at Praia on 20 June points to a new development. It appears that a Bolivian national was transporting over a 1,467 grams of cocaine from Fortaleza. At Praia he met with two Nigerian nationals, both residents on the islands. This suggests the diversification of South American – West African partnerships with Bolivia emerging as a new player in the field.