News Briefing – Week beginning on 7 September

Ecuador’s National Council for Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances (Consep) has announced a new four level system to differentiate between drug users, microtraffickers and large scale traffickers in terms of prison sentences. Significant changes have also been applied on the amount of heroin and cocaine a person can possess for personal use.

Colombian security forces intecepted a boat carrying 620 kg of cocaine bound for Central America and North America to the Pacific. The three smugglers – two Ecuadorians and a Colombian –  were arrested.

Two Colombian and two Jamaican smugglers were sentenced to 15 months in prison for trafficking 100 kg of cocaine in Kingston. They were arrested on 18 November 2011 while they were transporting the drugs on a boat.

US authorities dismanteld a massive money laundering ring in China involving Colombian nationals. According to the authorities, the criminals laundered more than US$5 billion in drug profits from the US, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

A sniffer dog in Colombia detected cocaine concealed in 48 boxes of toner for printers and photocopiers. No arrests have been made but Colombian police declared that the drugs were destined to the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel.

Port Authorities of Pisco, in Peru, impounded a Spanish-flag ship after 211 kg of cocaine were found on board. The ship was scheduled to sail for the Mexican port of Manzanillo. One Venezuelan national was arrested.

Alexis Goosdell was appointed as the new Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in Lisbon.

Fifteen kg of cocaine worth approximately  US$1,3 million were seized at Dublin port. The drugs were hidden in a vehicle coming from the UK.

A disabled Nigerian man was arrested at Kokota International Airport and after he confessed he swallowed a number of pellets containing cocaine. He allegedly swallowed them in Abidjan and was supposed to deliver them in Dubai.

After a petition launched by students of the Aberystwyth to make the production, sale and use of cannabis lawful in the United Kingdom, the British Parliament decided to debate the possible legalisation of the drug. Nevertheless, the government has insisted marijuana will not becaome legal in the UK.

Authorities at the Kingston Wharves intercepted two bags of cocaine worth approximately US$ 200,000 on its way to Suriname. No arrests have been made.