News Briefing-Week of 28 of May

  • On May 26, Guatemala’s National Civil Police announced the discovery and destruction of almost one hectare of coca, calling it ‘’the first-ever evidence of cocaine production in the country’’. The discovery may be a sign that drug trafficking groups are looking to cut risks and transport costs while expanding experiments growing drug crops in Central America.
  • Tramadol is fuelling widespread addiction in Nigeria. The painkiller is cheap and there is less of a taboo on the usage of prescription drugs than on the consumption of alcohol in the country. Reportedly, Tramadol is being smuggled into Africa from South Asia by international criminal gangs, with yearly seizures in sub-Saharan Africa rising from 300kg (661lb) per year to more than three tonnes since 2013.
  • According to the figures calculated by researchers at France’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), the illegal drug trade in France is worth at least €2.7 billion ($3.1 billion USD), making up around 0.1 per cent of the country’s GDP. However, the agency was keen to stress that the figure could have been underestimated. The two illegal drugs generating the largest amount of income were cannabis, which added an estimated €1 billion to France’s GDP, and cocaine, which contributed around €800 million.
  • Venezuela‘s Chief Prosecutor, Tarek William Saab, announced that a drug trafficking ring with intent to transport 111 kilograms of cocaine through Venezuela into Jamaica had been dismantled.
  • The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) and the Jamaica Customs Agency hosted a conference between 29 and 31 of May in New Kingston, Jamaica, with the objective of bringing regional border officials together in a forum that examines trends and to exchange best practices to enhance the regional crime and security agenda of the Caribbean.