News Briefings – Week of 13 June

  • Jurgen Whala, a police drug expert based in Aberdeen, has reported the identification of 3.2 tons of cocaine hidden on a Turkish boat. According to him, the seizure is worth over more than £500 million. This evidence was presented during the trial of nine Turks accused of smuggling cocaine from Guyana to Europe between February and April 2015.
  • It has been reported that the Colombian government reached an agreement with FARC rebels to replace illicit crops, mainly coca, in order to bring to an end the longest guerrilla war in Latin America. Ivan Marquez, a FARC lead negotiator, has claimed this is a unique project that will help to eradicate illegal crops and hinder the production of narcotics.
  • Leandre Banon has analysed the situation of drug trafficking in West Africa and advised the proliferation of drugs in the region thwarts development efforts and represents a threat to good governance. This article has suggested West Africa is not only a transit zone of drugs from Latin America to Europe. The region has become allegedly a synthetic drugs producer for the Asian market.
  • The Sri Lanka Ministry of Finance has reported the identification of a cocaine haul hidden inside a stock of sugar imported from Brazil. President Maithripala Sirisena visited the Orugodawatta Rank Container Terminal where the drugs were discovered. Ministry of Finance officials have considered this as the biggest drug haul in Sri Lanka’s history.
  • The Royal Society for Public Health and the Faculty of Public in Britain have claimed that the war on drugs must be reversed and drug consumption should be treated as a health matter rather than a crime. In addition, both institutions pointed out prisons are not the right path to address drug use. The Independent editorial mentions that a change in drug policy should be based on the available evidence in order to reach common sense laws.