News Briefing – Week of 9 November

Bolivian Defense Minister signed an agreeement to buy radar equipment designed to detect drug planes. The equipment was purchased from the French company Thales Air System. This agreement could help the government reduce Bolivia’s role in the “cocaine air bridge” from Peru to Brazil.

Indigenous groups on the Caribbean coast of Honduras are denouncing distress caused by the increasing number of drug traffickers exploiting the area, cutting down trees to create airstrips from the hungle, recruiting youths as smugglers and buying land to launder money.

Colombian police discovered 500 kg of cocaine hidden on two buses that were transporting football fans from Cali to Santiago, in Chile. The two drivers were arrested.

A woman was arrested at Lisbon Airport after being caught trying to smuggle drugs from Latin America to Portugal. In connection to her arrest, two men were detained in Spain. The men were allegedly waiting for the woman in Spain to collect the drugs and move them through the border.

Nigerian President Buhari fired Ibrahim Lamorde, the head of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, Nigeria’s main anti-corruption agency. Lamorde is the latest official to be laid off during Buhari’s administration. After he took office in May, the President promised harsh punishments to those suspected of corruption in the political establishment.

Two nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro were arrested by Haiti authorities and extradited to the United States accused of allegedly wanting to smuggle 800 kg of cocaine into the US. The two men were detained in Portu-au-Prince while finalising the deal with an undercover DEA agent.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) dismantled a drug trafficking syndicate at the Akanu Ibian International Airport in Enugu. According to the authorities, two NDLEA officers were involved in the organisation.

UN’s latest figures indicate that Colombia has overtaken Peru as world’s largest cocaine producer, with approximately 69,000 hectars of land occupied by coca crops. According to the UN, Colombia’s coca production would increase by 52% in 2015.