VIENNA, 12 July (UN Information Service) - Speaking before the UN Security Council, on 11th July, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said that increased drug trafficking, signs of drug production, growing drug consumption, piracy and insecurity, were examples of the complex challenges that organizations such as UNODC face in West Africa.
When reviewing the situation, Mr. Fedotov said that, in 2011, around 30 tons of cocaine were trafficked to West Africa. However, only 2.7 kg was reportedly seized in Guinea Bissau during the same period. Cocaine trafficking in the region is estimated to generate some US$900 million in profit annually for criminal networks.
In addition, there has also been an increase in heroin trafficking. UNODC reported 20 kg seized in 2008, 210 kg in 2010, and almost 400 kg in 2011. Recently, methamphetamine laboratories have also been discovered in West Africa.
With signs of increased cocaine consumption, Mr. Fedotov said: "West Africa is no longer simply a transit route for cocaine from Latin America to Europe, it has… become a final destination."
Piracy is also being monitored in the region. On terrorism, Mr. Fedotov noted that it "could further deteriorate security and good governance in the region and we are closely reviewing possible links between terrorism and transnational organized crime". This was especially true in countries such as Mali.
Closing his briefing, Mr. Fedotov said: "West Africa faces complex challenges that represent a severe test for the individual countries and for the region as a whole. Our aim must be to help countries sustain their development, while also ensuring peace and prosperity in the region."
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