News briefing, week beginning 15 September

• Four kilograms of cocaine and 200 grams of cannabis were seized by French authorities in an official Vatican car. Two people were arrested in connection with the drugs.
• Twelve members of a North England gang, that were arrested in 2013 with around £1m worth of cannabis and cocaine were sentenced to between two and 16 years in jail.
• Cocaine valued at £500,000 and £22,500 cash were seized by Manchester authorities as a major drug supplier was arrested in Manchester.
• A reform to property seizure law has provided Colombian authorities with greater power in the seizure of assets of suspected organised criminals. The reform is expected to reduce complete property seizure time from seven to three years.
Data from the Attorney General’s Office indicates that Mexico has 40 criminal gangs working for major drug cartels. This points to the proliferation and diversification of organised crime since 2006.
• Egypt attributed the migrant shipwreck deaths of 500 illegal migrants off the coast of Malta to organised crime.
• Morocco reaffirmed its commitment to the ‘fight against drug trafficking’ in a report, describing it as “a national priority”.
• Cuba and Italy signed an agreement for greater police cooperation in the fight against organised crime and drug trafficking.
• 705 kilograms of cocaine and 1.5 tons of marijuana were seized as Colombian authorities targeted one of the largest criminal organisations in the country.
• Six Colombian drug traffickers including a retired army officer were arrested and requested for extradition to the US.
• Three men were arrested by the Gardaí Organised Crime Unit in North East Leinster, Ireland for illegal drug trafficking and drugs worth €700,000 were confiscated.
• The Panamanian government has agreed to strengthen and increase the coordination between Panamanian authorities and Interpol in the fight against organised crime and drug trafficking.