News Briefing – Week of 27 June

  • Brazil’s top court has frozen millions of dollars in WhatsApp’s funds. The company is accused of obstructing a federal investigation related to drug trafficking.
  • The 2016 World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has pointed out that Brazil -followed by Colombia- is one of the most frequent departure points for cocaine arriving to African, Asian and European markets.
  • Insight Crime has published an article analysing if the global cocaine trade is in decline. According to the evidence presented in the 2016 World Drug Report, the cocaine trade appears to be in decay. The European cocaine market has stagnated after a period of sustained growth that reached its highest point in 2007.
  • West Africa is reportedly becoming an ideal hub for methamphetamine producers due to the presence of established drug routes;  unpatrolled areas where crystal meth can be cooked; and local police forces are not capable of dealing with drug issues. Ghanaian authorities have acknowledged this situation as a serious problem.
  • The Colombian Police reportedly apprehended 26 members of the criminal group Urabeños. This criminal organisation allegedly trafficked cocaine camouflaged in banana shipments via containers that left from the Caribbean ports of Urabá and Santa Marta to Holland, Belgium and Spain.
  • The Chief Executive of the Ghana Mental Health Authority, has strongly condemned the legalisation of cannabis in Ghana. It has been reported that cannabis is the most abused drug in Ghana and in Africa.
  • Reuters reported that authorities have seized 11 tonnes of cocaine and apprehended 33 alleged drug traffickers between Europe and Latin America. The operation was carried out by law enforcement agencies from Italy, Colombia and the U.S.