Tonne Of Cocaine Discovered In Car Shipments From Brazil

File photo of tonnes of cocaine seized by police in Spain.

 

Senegalese authorities have discovered more than a tonne of cocaine in the past week hidden in shipments of new cars from Brazil waiting to be offloaded in the port of Dakar, the customs service said on Monday.

Officials found 798 kilogrammes (1,760 pounds) of the white powder in 15 new cars among a delivery of dozens over the weekend, the service said in a statement.

This came just days after another 238 kg was found in a separate car shipment — also from Brazil, in the same port.

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Investigations are continuing, said the customs service, without specifying the street value of the cocaine seized.

At least 15 Senegalese people have been arrested, according to local media.

Cocaine is regularly found at the port and international airport of Dakar — one of West Africa’s main transit points for passengers and merchandise.

The single biggest amount ever seized was 2.4 tonnes, in the coastal region of Mbour in July 2007. Suspected dealers from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela were arrested, tried, and convicted.

The white powder produced from coca leaves, mainly in Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, is increasingly being transported by sea via the Caribbean, Maghreb and West Africa to destinations further afield.

Global cocaine production reached a record high of nearly 2,000 tonnes in 2017, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

At the same time, seizures of cocaine rose to a record of 1,275 tonnes.

AFP

Cocaine Production Hit New Record In 2017 – UN Report

FILE PHOTO USED TO DEPICT THE STORY: This photo released by the Honduran Technical Agency for Criminal Investigation (Agencia Tecnica de Investigacion Criminal, ATIC) shows ATIC members counting packets of cocaine in San Pedro Sula, 180km north of Tegucigalpa, on September 14, 2018. 

 

Global cocaine production reached an all-time high in 2017, breaking the previous year’s record by 25 percent, the UN drugs and crime agency said Wednesday in its annual report, as production soars in post-conflict Colombia.

New remote fields and criminal gangs boosted production in the world’s top supplier, despite efforts to steer rural communities away from coca cultivation following a peace deal with FARC rebels.

“Of course it’s bad news every time. It’s bad news for the producing countries… What is happening in Columbia is worrisome,” said Angela Me, chief of research of the Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The report said the jump in production “was mainly driven by increases in cocaine manufacture in Colombia, which produced an estimated 70 percent of the world’s cocaine”.

In the decade to 2017, there was a 50 percent increase in manufacture, reaching a record 1,976 tons two years ago, according to the report, which bases its figures on national monitoring systems.

Over the same 10-year period, the amount of cocaine seized worldwide rose by 74 percent.

In 2017, authorities across the globe intercepted a record quantity of the drug: in all 1,275 tons were seized, up 13 percent year-on-year.

“This suggests that law enforcement efforts have become more effective and that strengthened international cooperation may be helping to increase interception rates,” the report said.

Almost 90 percent of seizures were in the Americas, with Colombia alone intercepting 38 percent of the global total in 2017.

Cocaine production in some central areas of Colombia dropped following the 2016 peace deal with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, as farmers were offered alternatives to growing coca bush.

But the report said Colombia has since seen more coca cultivation, with new fields — often far away from major cities — being planted and criminal groups moving into areas previously controlled by the rebels.

– Opioid crisis worsening –

The report gave 2018 figures for global opium production, which had soared to a record in 2017.

It said drought in Afghanistan had helped spur a drop in output by 25 percent to some 7,790 tons in 2018, adding that previous years’ overproduction had likely also knocked prices.

UNODC also sharply hiked its estimates of how many people suffer from drug use disorders and need treatment, after it ran surveys in populous India and Nigeria.

Globally some 35 million people were affected in 2017, some 4.5 million people more than previously estimated, UNODC said.

“A lot more people need treatment than we previously thought… Six out of seven don’t receive the treatment they need,” Me said, adding the organisation could revise its numbers again were it given access to data from China.

North America’s opioid crisis also reached new heights in 2017 with more than 47,000 opioid overdose deaths in the United States, the report said.

UNODC estimates that there were 53.4 million opioid users worldwide in 2017, up 56 percent from the 2016 estimate due to the surveys from India and Nigeria.

While fentanyl and its analogues remained the key problem in North America, tramadol is besetting West, Central and North Africa.

Global seizures of the synthetic opioid surged from less than 10 kilogrammes in 2010 to almost nine tons in 2013 and a record 125 tons in 2017.

Cannabis remains the most widely used drug worldwide with an estimated 188 million people using it, the report said.

AFP

Egypt Detains Two Foreigners For Cocaine Smuggling

 

Egypt on Saturday detained two foreigners for drug smuggling after they flew into Cairo international airport carrying a large quantity of cocaine, official sources told AFP.

A Cairo prosecutor ordered the German woman and Turkish man held “for four days for investigations on charges of bringing in 11 kilogrammes of cocaine” into the country, a judicial source said.

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A security source told AFP the pair arrived on an Emirates flight from Dubai.

Egypt’s cabinet in late January approved a legislative amendment to increase punishments for drug smugglers to include the death penalty.

The proposal still needs to be passed by parliament.

Cocaine Found In Chris Brown’s Hotel Room ‘Not His’ – Lawyer

File Photo: Chris Brown

 

French police probing rape claims against American R&B star Chris Brown found cocaine and cannabis in his Paris hotel suite, his lawyer said Wednesday while denying that the cocaine belonged to the singer.

Brown’s French lawyer, Raphael Chiche, confirmed that the 29-year-old was found in possession of cannabis during his arrest at the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel on Monday night over claims that he assaulted a woman a week earlier.

But the Grammy Award-winning singer had a note from his American doctor covering his use of the drug for medicinal purposes, Chiche said.

The cocaine found “was not his” and “belonged to those who had come to party in his suite on the night of January 20-21,” the lawyer added.

Brown, his bodyguard and a friend were arrested after a 25-year-old woman accused them of raping her in the Mandarin Oriental, where he was staying while attending shows during men’s fashion week in the French capital.

After being held for 24 hours the three were released without charge on Tuesday night.

Chiche said his client wanted to bring a defamation lawsuit.

“He says he had no sexual relations of any sort with the complainant,” Chiche said.

The singer, who denies the allegations, posted a picture on his Instagram account after his release that read “This B!tch Lyin'”.

“I WANNA MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR…… THIS IS FALSE AND A WHOLE LOT OF CAP! (sic),” he posted next to the picture.

Still Under Investigation 

The prosecutor’s office said the three men were still under investigation on suspicion of aggravated rape and a drugs offence.

The alleged victim told police she met Brown in a nightclub near the Champs-Elysees avenue with a group of other women on the night of January 15.

She then agreed to go back to the singer’s hotel, on the glitzy boutique-lined Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore.

Chiche said that his client was now free to return to the United States but would continue to cooperate with investigators and “will come back if he has to”.

Brown has been in the news more for his legal troubles than his hit releases in recent years.

In 2009 he was convicted of beating fellow singer Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time, who was forced to miss the Grammy Awards because of her injuries.

Brown was sentenced to five years’ probation and six months of community service for the assault.

In 2014 he pleaded guilty to assaulting a fan in Washington and two years later he was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon following a standoff with Los Angeles police officers.

He is best known for his hits in the mid-2000s such as “Kiss, Kiss” and “Run It”.

Spain’s Police Seize Massive Cocaine Haul In Banana Cargo

Packs of cocaine are displayed in Malaga on October 25, 2018, after the Spanish National Police and Civil Guards seized more than five tons of cocaine in an operation.
JORGE GUERRERO / AFP

 

Spanish police said on Thursday they had seized over six tonnes of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas and arrested 16 suspects, some of them wanted in the Netherlands.

The police raid in the southern port of Malaga also netted cash, weapons and luxury vehicles.

The operation broke up a trafficking ring made up of well-known Dutch criminals based on Spain’s Costa del Sol, police said in a statement. They had specialized in smuggling cocaine into Spain and the Netherlands.

“Some were considered priority targets by police in the Netherlands,” the statement added.

The cocaine was hidden in a banana shipment that arrived by boat in neighboring Portugal and was then transported by truck to Malaga in southern Spain.

Police said the gang used a company that imported fruit from Costa Rica as a cover for its operations.

Officers seized 300,000 euros ($343,000) as part of the operation along with four guns and several luxury vehicles.

Fifteen people were arrested in Malaga and one in Badajoz in the eastern region of Extremadura on the border with Portugal.

The operation was carried out in collaboration with the anti-drugs arm of Portugal’s police and with the United States’ Homeland Security Investigations unit, the statement added.

Spain, with its historic and linguistic links to South America, is the main entry point to Europe for cocaine from the continent, mostly from Colombia.

Smugglers often resort to creative methods to get drugs past Spanish customs.

In recent years, police have found cocaine inside breast implants, hollowed-out pineapples, a wig, a wheelchair cushion, a plaster cast encasing a man’s broken leg as well as inside a 42-piece crockery set.

AFP

400 Kilos Of Cocaine Found In Russian Embassy In Argentina

This undated handout picture released on February 22, 2018 by Argentina’s Security Ministry was taken in Buenos Aires during the police sting operation which resulted in the seizure of nearly 400 kilos of cocaine from the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires. HO / Argentina’s Security Ministry / AFP

 

Police have seized nearly 400 kilos of cocaine from the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires and arrested several members of a drug trafficking gang, Argentina’s security minister announced Thursday.

Patricia Bullrich told a press conference that the drugs discovered in an annex of the embassy had a street value of around $50 million.

“A gang of narco-criminals was trying to use the diplomatic courier service of the Russian embassy” to ship the drugs to Europe, she said.

She told reporters that Russian and Argentine police had decided to mount a sting operation after the Russian ambassador informed them of the drugs find in December 2016.

“The cocaine was replaced by flour and monitoring devices were placed to monitor delivery” of the 16 bags of the drug, Bullrich said. She said the sting had resulted in the arrest of five suspects — two in Argentina and three in Russia.

The drug, of “very high purity,” was destined for Russia and probably also Germany, where the suspected mastermind lives. “We believe the German police will arrest this fugitive,” Bullrich said.

The minister said Russian security service agents “came to Argentina on three occasions to assist in the investigation” that took more than a year.

One of the two people arrested in Argentina is a naturalized Russian who was a member of the police force in Buenos Aires, said Bullrich.

Investigators believe the cocaine likely originated in Colombia or Peru.

AFP

Argentine Police Seizes Two Tonnes Of Cocaine, Arrests 15

Police Seize Two Tonnes Of Cocaine, Arrest 15 In ArgentinaArgentine Police have seized two tonnes of cocaine in the port city of Bahia Blanca in Buenos Aires province, local media reported on Monday.

After a three-month-long investigation, the drugs were found in steel coils inside a container located at a warehouse within an industrial park.

The drugs, the largest seizure in Argentina’s recent history, were estimated to have a value of about $60m and were headed to Spain and Canada.

Fifteen people – including a woman – were arrested. Four Mexicans, among those detained, were accused of belonging to a dangerous drug trafficking gang based in the Mexican state of Michoacan.

Local media said at least 50 mobile phones were intercepted while the drugs crossed from Chile to Argentina. A first raid was carried out in the province of Mendoza, in Lujan de Cuyo. Police found 500 kilos of cocaine hidden in a warehouse there, together with cash, vehicles and weapons.

Argentina has mostly avoided the drug violence seen in Colombia and Mexico, but it is now the fifth largest trafficking point of cocaine en route to Europe and Asia, according to the United Nations.

Argentina does not produce the drug itself but cocaine from Bolivia, Peru and Colombia pass through its borders.

Reuters

Autopsy Shows Carrie Fisher had Cocaine, Heroin In Her System

“Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher had traces of cocaine, heroin and party drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy, in her system when she died suddenly in December, according to a full autopsy report released on Monday.

The autopsy report could not ascertain what effect the cocaine and other drugs may have had on her system.

Coroner’s officials ruled on Friday that the death of the “Star Wars” actress was due to sleep apnea and other causes.

Fisher died at age 60 on December 27, four days after she went into cardiac arrest on a flight from London to Los Angeles.

She had a long history of cocaine addiction in the 1980s and she also suffered from bipolar disorder. Although Fisher had spoken openly about her battle with addiction, it was not known that she had ongoing issues with drugs.

Fisher had likely taken the cocaine some 72 hours before she was admitted to the hospital in Los Angeles, according to Monday’s autopsy and toxicology report.

The officials said they could not pinpoint the time of exposure to the small amount of heroin found in Fisher’s system, along with the MDMA and other opiates.

But they said the drugs can suppress breathing and respiration and that Fisher had a history of sleep apnea.

After undergoing treatment in the mid-1980s for cocaine addiction, Fisher wrote the bestselling novel “Postcards from the Edge,” about a drug-abusing actress forced to move in with her mother. The book was later adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.

She reprised her star-making role as Princess Leia in the 2015 film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” when her character become an astute military general.

Her daughter, Billie Lourd, said in a statement to People magazine on Friday that her mother “battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.”

Lourd said she thought Fisher would “want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programmes.”

Spanish Police Seizes Over Two Tons Of Cocaine From Ship

Spanish police seized more than two tons of cocaine from a ship with a Venezuelan flag in the Atlantic Ocean and arrested the seven crew members, Spain’s interior ministry said on Monday.

The operation, carried out alongside the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the UK’s National Crime Agency and Portuguese police, took place earlier this month, on May 4.

The seven people on board were Venezuelan nationals, the ministry said, adding that a gun had also been seized alongside 2,400 kg of cocaine. The vessel, a small, rusted fishing boat according to images distributed by police, has since been towed to Spain’s Canary Islands.

Separately, a shipment of 5.5 tons of cocaine destined for Spain was intercepted off the coast of Ecuador, and 24 people were arrested in that operation, the interior ministry also said on Monday.

“Today is an important day, a day of congratulations for the national police along with Spanish Customs who managed to detain a Venezuelan fishing ship with 2,400 kilograms of cocaine. I just want to mark the important job that the Spanish police has done, in this case with a previous labour of information in coordination with the U.S.,” Spanish Government’s Canary Islands Delegate, Mercedes Roldos, said.

“DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), with the Portuguese police and the British police, which have made the successful arrest of this fishing ship from Venezuela, the detention of seven people and the seizure of a very significant amount of cocaine.”

15 Men Charged To Court Over Cocaine Seizure In Australia

15 Men Charged To Court Over Austrailian Cocaine SiezureThe Australian police say, 15 men have been charged to court after security forces made the biggest cocaine burst in the country’s history.

The drugs, with an estimated street value of 360 million Australian dollars, were uncovered after a police investigation that lasted over two years.

Police say they seized 500 kg of cocaine from a boat in Brooklyn, North of Sydney, on Christmas day.

This follows the confiscation of 600 kg of drugs in Tahiti. Police believe they were destined for Australia.

Kano Police Parades Suspects, Recovers Items Worth 5bn Naira

land grabbers-policeKano State Police Command has seized drugs worth five billion Naira and recovered 10,000 unregistered intoxicating drugs. 

Items recovered from the suspects include; 532 parcels of Indian hemp valued at 2.5 million Naira, large quantity of cocaine to be sold at over 2.2 billion Naira, rifles of different caliber, 250 stolen rice, cars and motorcycles

Presenting the items to the state Governor, the Commissioner of Police, Musa Katsina, said that 45 suspects with arms were arrested, while 13 people caught with fake passport were apprehended.

According to the state Police Commissioner, having cleared Falgore Forest off the cattle rustlers, it now became necessary to put Kano among the least drug consuming state in Nigeria.

Receiving the exhibits from the Police, the state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, expressed his government’s interest over the cases related to drug abuse, armed robbery and cattle rustling.

The Governor explained that the state government will not seat back while courts releases convicted criminals only to go back to their crimes.

Meanwhile, 12 youths from Edo State who were arrested with fake passport travelling to Libya, told the governor that they decided to leave Nigeria due to unemployment.

He requested that the State Chief Security Officer should temper justice with mercy and return them to their state.

In the meantime, the Police said it will hand the suspects over to relevant authorities for necessary prosecution while they continue their unsought against criminals in the state.

Woman Docked For Allegedly Peddling 4.5Kg of Cocaine

cocaineThe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday arraigned a 38-year-old woman before a Federal High Court in Lagos for drug trafficking.

The accused, Alake Abdulrazaq, is standing trial on a one-count charge bordering on the offence. She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, Mr Abu Ibrahim, told the court that the accused committed the offence on October 12.

He said that she was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, during the outward clearance of passengers on-board an Ethiopian Airline flight to India.

Ibrahim said that about 4. 5kg of Cocaine was recovered from the accused, which she concealed in a neat wrap.

The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of Section 11 (a) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

The offence of drug trafficking can attract as much as life imprisonment.

Justice Saliu Saidu, following an application for bail by defence counsel, Mrs Lilian Omotunde, granted the accused bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.

He adjourned the case to February 2, 2016, for trial.