Newsbriefing – week of 29 April

Operation Orion, the Colombia-led multinational anti-narcotics operation has seized 94.2 tonnes of cocaine in its third phase, over a period of 105 days. The seizure is estimated around $3.2 billion. 26.7 tonnes or marijuana valued at $133.7 million were also seized. Orion is a joint naval operation involving 18 countries from Latin America, Europe and North America based on intelligence and information sharing. SEACOP, a CRP programme, participated in the operation.

1.6 tonnes of cocaine seized in Holland. The seizure is estimated around 40 million euros. The drug was hidden in a shipment of bananas from Costa Rica, in Rotterdam port. In 2018, 19 tonnes of cocaine hidden in shipments were found at Rotterdam port.

Two prolific dark web marketplaces have been taken down in a simultaneous global operation supported by Europol, including the world’s second largest online criminal marketplace for drugs, called the Wall Street Market. It hosted 5,400 sellers and around 1 million buyers, and dealt mainly in drugs, hacking tools and illegal documents. Transactions were conducted using cryptocurrencies.

Cocaine consumption pollutes UK aqua ecosystems. Scientists drug-tested freshwater shrimps in rivers in rural areas and found all of them contained small amounts of various drugs like cocaine and ketamine. The drugs likely made their way into rivers after human consumption, passing from urine to sewage to shrimps.