April 12, 2008

Cocaine’s route

US drugs officials are concerned about growing quantities of cocaine being trafficked through Africa to Europe, as amounts of the stimulant reaching the United States tapers off. Trafficking in 2007 had shifted to cocaine coming out of Colombia, through Venezuela in increasing amounts, and by both maritime routes and by air, coming toward Europe.

According to the United Nations, Europe is the second largest illicit market in the world after the United States. Spain is the major port of entry for South American cocaine, but large quantities also transport through Portugal. US figures showed that some 58,000 kilogrammes (128,000 pounds) of cocaine arrived in Europe from Venezuela last year -- compared to almost 29,000 (64,000 pounds) in 2000 -- while 3,600 kilogrammes (8,000 pounds) came from Colombia, well down from over 64,000 (141,000 pounds) eight years ago.


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