News Briefing – Week of 15 February

A suspected drug smuggler has been arrested at Dusseldorf Airport with 15 kg of cocaine in his suitcase. The man has been identified after flying in from the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo via Madrid. The arrest is part of a wider investigation launched in November.

Mauritanian authorities confirmed the connection between drug trafficking networks operating in the country and the separatist Polisario Front. In early February, two tons of cocaine were seized thanks to intelligence provided to Mauritanian Security Services.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which sets standards for anti-money laundering and fighting terrorist financing, has removed Angola, Algeria and Panama from its “gray list” of countries.

Javier Cardona Ramirez, a former Colombian drug lord, recently freed after serving a sentence in the U.S., has accused General Diosdado Cabello, former President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, of leading a the well-known Cartel de los Soles. According to Cardona, this powerful cartel has strong economic connections to the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Nigeria has disclosed the new NDLEA agenda which would address the problem of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in the country. According to Abdallah, the new strategy would drastically reduce drug trafficking and related crimes in the country.

A self-confessed Gambian drug dealer, who fled the country in November 2015, declared that the cocaine he was selling was supplied to him by personnel of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA). He alleged that NDEA agents used to supply him with up to 5 kg of cocaine to sell to interested buyers in the streets of Banjul.

Agents of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) arrested the Nigerian monarch from Ondo State, following his suspect involvement in money laundering activities.

A British woman, who was jailed in Peru for attempting to smuggle cocaine out of the country, declared that she bribed officials to escape the country, apparently a common practice to avoid detention in Peru.