What is the Cocaine Route?

Trafficking in cocaine is one of the most lucrative forms of business for organised crime groups. Shipping the illicit cargo across continents is dangerous, violent and involves considerable operational challenges. Over the past three decades criminal organisations have cast their net over a large geographical area, spanning the producer countries in the coca belt of Bolivia, Peru and Colombia to European consumer market. En route they make stop overs in the Caribbean region and West Africa, to evade control efforts and open new lines of business.Find out more here.

What is the Cocaine Route Programme?

The Cocaine Route Programme presents a concerted effort by the European Union and its partners to staunch the flow of illicit goods and facilitate communication and cooperation of criminal investigators and prosecutors. Its current focus is on transnational organised crime in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa and Europe.

The Cocaine Route Programme addresses the challenge of a fragmented law enforcement approach along the trafficking route by promoting regional and trans-regional cooperation. The programme also seeks to build the capacity of law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies addressing cocaine trafficking and related criminal activity such as money laundering and the trafficking of precursor chemicals.

The programme consists of 10 projects designed to promote the interception of drugs, support anti-money laundering activities and improve the exchange of information, analysis and intelligence.

Where does the funding come from?

Since 2009, the EU has committed over €50million to the programme in 38 countries through the Instrument contributing to Peace and Stability.

What is RUSI’s involvement?

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is managing the Cocaine Monitoring and Support (CORMS) project, which was established to monitor the other seven projects of the Cocaine Route Programme, improve information flow between them and facilitate synergies between them.

Where is the Cocaine Route Programme implemented?

The programme is currently implemented in 38 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa.