1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Cocaine worth $1bn seized in The Gambia
    At least two tonnes of cocaine with a street value of some $1bn has been seized in The Gambia, bound for Europe.

    In addition to the huge haul of drugs, the Gambian authorities have arrested a dozen suspected traffickers, and seized large quantities of cash and arms.

    Gambian investigators made the first arrests then called in British agents to gather forensic evidence.

    West Africa has become a major transit hub for trafficking Latin American drugs to markets in Europe.

    Drugs cartels are taking advantage of the region's poverty and weak security and judicial systems.

    Agents from the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency - the rough equivalent of the US FBI - helped discover the haul of highly concentrated cocaine behind a false wall in a warehouse basement an hour's drive from the Gambian capital, Banjul.

    Numerous revealing computer records were also found.

    One investigator closely involved told the BBC: "We're excited about this one - we've got all the elements here."

    The BBC's Mark Doyle in Banjul says some of the Gambian officers involved in the bust are clearly pleased, if saying nothing in public for now.

    Tuesday, 8 June 2010


  1. buseman
    Drug cartels losing ground in African drug war?

    Security authorities in The Gambia have seized about $1bn worth of cocaine on transit from South America to Europe. The authorities also seized large quantities of cash and arms, and arrested over 12 suspected drug traffickers, reports claim.

    This comes after last week’s drug bust in Liberia and a series of arrests in Uganda involving drug traffickers.

    Perceived as poverty stricken and habouring weak security and judicial systems, the West Africa region had, until recent drug busts, become a safe haven for South American drug cartels seeking to use African ports to smuggle hard drugs into Europe.

    But African security authorities are proving to be more resilient to the lures of drug money after last week’s $100 million drug bust in Liberia by the National Security Agency, followed by another series of arrests in Uganda involving four drug barons charged with trafficking over $1 million worth of drugs.

    In March, Gambian President Yayha Jammeh said there would be "zero tolerance" for drug-trafficking after 11 senior officials were arrested as part of a probe linked to drugs. "I have zero tolerance for criminals. I have double zero tolerance for drugs," Mr. Jammeh told state radio.

    The multi-million dollar cocaine operation in Gambia’s capital Banjul was intercepted by Gambian investigators who then arrested suspects before inviting British agents to gather forensic evidence.

    Reportedly, British agents from the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency discovered the haul of highly concentrated cocaine behind a false wall along with numerous revealing computer records in a warehouse basement an hour away from Banjul, the country’s capital.

    We certainly have noted with concern that the narcotics trafficking and the revenues from it play a destabilizing role in the countries in West Africa and throughout the world, Adam Szubin, head of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had said.

    West Africa has become a major transit centre for trafficking Latin American drugs to markets in Europe, but the recent arrest in Banjul, and last weeks arrest in Liberia has brought some credibility to West African security officials despite a worsening situation in Guinea-Bissau, where the illegal drug trade is reported to have a central role in the struggle for leadership.

    After a 2008 warning from the Brussels-based International Crisis Group that ’Guinea-Bissau risks becoming a potentially violent narco-state without international support for urgently needed democratic reforms’, the ports of Guinea-Bissau still remain a major transit point for cocaine smuggled from Latin America to Europe.

    But Guinea-Bissau cannot be singled out as the only major transit point for narcotic drugs. Large containers of cocaine entering Africa from South America are believed to make their landfalls around Guinea-Bissau in the north and Ghana in the south, and are shipped to Europe by drug mules on commercial flights.

    And last month’s arrest of a 52 year old Nigerian politician, Mr. Ayortor, by security officials when scanners revealed that he was carrying cocaine in his stomach as he attempted to board a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, highlights the involvement of top political figures in the drug trade.

    Indeed, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes at the Cape Verde capital Praia, in 2008 claimed that at least 50 tones of cocaine from Andean countries pass through West Africa each year, heading mostly to the streets of France, Spain and the United Kingdom, where they are worth some $2 billion. And according to drug seizure data, the majority of air couriers come from Guinea, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

    As the seizure of cocaine doubles every year, — since the past five years, with the 2007 total amounting to 6,458 kilogrammes, and major seizures in 2008 including a 600 kilogramme cocaine bust at the Freetown airport in Sierra Leone, — Africa, considered by drug cartels as a safe transit point due to its endemic poverty, could well be on its way to destabilising the drug trade.

  2. buseman
    12 in court for record drug bust

    BANJUL (Gambia) - TWELVE nationals of various countries appeared in a Gambian court on Wednesday on three counts of drug trafficking related to the record seizure of two tonnes of cocaine in the tiny west African nation.

    According to the charge sheet, the accused 'had in their possession cocaine, a prohibited drug for the purpose of supply... transport or and/or transfers as an occupation business and there by committed an offence.' They pleaded not guilty and were remanded in state custody. The case was adjourned to June 30.

    The four Nigerians, three Ghanians, two Venezuelans and three Dutch nationals were arrested in possession of three kilograms of cocaine, which led to the discovery of a further two tonnes of cocaine on June 4.

    The drugs were found in an underground bunker concealed behind a false wall in a warehouse used by a fishing company owned by some of the suspects.

    Authorities also found US$250,000 (S$353,853) in cash and a number of loaded firearms.

    Another three suspects were arrested Tuesday in the case which Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency described as a 'record' seizure for West Africa which is increasingly targeted by drug cartels as a transit point. -- AFP

    Jun 9, 2010
  3. John Doe
    West African police seize $1B in cocaine

    [imgr="black"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=15083&stc=1&d=1276167086[/imgr]West African police seize $1B in cocaine

    BANJUL, Gambia - In a record haul for West Africa, Gambian and British police found more than two tonnes of cocaine, with a street value of US$1-billion, in a small fishing village.

    The operation highlights the growing popularity of the region for South American drug cartels, after traditional routes through central America and the Caribbean became riskier and they were forced to diversify.

    Fifteen people -- South Americans, Europeans and Africans -- working under cover of a fishing company on the tiny island of Baobob were arrested.

    The 2.1 tonnes of cocaine were found in an underground bunker concealed behind a false wall in the company's warehouse.

    The suspects -- four Nigerians, three Ghanaians, two Venezuelans, and three Dutch nationals -- were arrested on May 12 after investigators found three kilos of cocaine in Bonto, about 30 kilometres east of the capital Banjul.

    This led to the discovery last Friday of the much-larger haul on the island, one of many that dot Gambia's coast.

    Yesterday, the suspects appeared in court on three charges of drug trafficking. They all pleaded not guilty and were remanded in police custody.

    Two Gambians and a Nigerian were arrested late Tuesday and more arrests are expected.

    "The suspects included the Dutch owner and Venezuelan employees of a Gambia-based fishing company," Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) said in a statement. "[They] had a number of premises including exclusive use of a small island where they made use of a dilapidated hotel and set up communications and transportation systems."

    Gambia, a sliver of land bordered on three sides by Senegal and the fourth by the Atlantic Ocean, sought the help of British police to examine suspected drugs warehouses.

    When they broke into the underground bunker, investigators also discovered US$250,000 in cash and a number of loaded firearms, along with reflectors, satellite phones and GPS systems.

    The cocaine was in "bricks" in 85 sacks, while another 60 empty sacks indicated "the bunker had been used as a distribution centre."

    The drug is worth more than US$150-million, but "the street value would be many times higher depending on how much the criminals diluted the cocaine with cutting agents," said SOCA.

    A British official in London said the street value could go as high as US$1-billion.

    "It has long been feared that cocaine traffickers might seek to exploit the Gambia and other countries in the region as warehousing locations for drugs en route from South America to Europe," said Neil Giles, the agency's deputy director.

    "It is highly likely a large proportion of these drugs would have found their way on to the streets of Europe and the UK. Taking this cocaine, and the profits it would have generated, out of the hands of criminals is a major blow to their operations."

    According to the UN, cocaine shipments through West Africa started increasing in 2003. Most of the contraband arrives by sea, where it is picked up by small boats and brought to land.

    About 20 tonnes of cocaine passed though West Africa in 2008, the UN says. The region has also become a drug-processing site.

    "A flourishing illicit trade in the hands of organized crime is obviously a threat to the rule of law, governance and, as a result, human rights," said Alexandre Schmidt, West African head for the UN Office for Drugs & Crime.

    "But we must no longer hide the indirect consequences with regard to the increase in problems linked to drug abuse."

    The drugs trade through West Africa grabbed headlines in 2007 after seizures of hundreds of kilos of cocaine were made in the region, alongside a spike in violence.

    Guinea-Bissau, the landing point for most of the cocaine, saw a string of political assassinations that analysts say was linked to the drugs trade. The notoriously brutal military in neighbouring Guinea was also believed to be involved.

    In March, Yayha Jammeh, the Gambian President, said there would be "zero tolerance" for drug-trafficking after 11 senior officials were arrested.

    They included a former police chief and drug chief and senior military and drug enforcement officials.

    Russell Benson, regional director for Europe and Africa for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, warned last week West Africa faced a "very complicated threat" from drug cartels and urged countries to boost legislation, law enforcement and judicial capabilities.

    Agence France- Presse, with files from news services
    Thursday, Jun. 10, 2010
  4. Terrapinzflyer
    Three sentenced after massive Gambian cocaine bust

    BANJUL, Gambia — A Gambian court on Wednesday sentenced three people, including a Dutch and two Nigerian nationals, to a year and a half in jail following a two tonne cocaine bust in June.

    The arrest of the three, who pleaded guilty to being in possession of three parcels of cocaine, led to the discovery of over two tonnes of cocaine outside Banjul with the aid of Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

    Maimuma Sisay who holds both Sierra Leonean and Nigerian citizenship, Fernando Varela, who is half Dutch and half Cape Verdian and Nigerian Michael Ephram Chidduben were also fined 75,000 US dollars each in lieu of an additional five years in prison.

    Magistrate Emmannuel Nkea also ordered that a landrover and 18,500 euro found with the accused persons be forfeited to the state.

    Nine suspects including two Venezuelans are still on trial. A Ghanaian national Gordon Barsel was acquitted.

    Authorities found the stash of cocaine in 85 sacks in an underground bunker concealed behind a false wall in a fishing village about 45 kilometres (30 miles) from the capital.

    SOCA deputy director Neil Giles said at the time the drugs were likely destined for Europe.

    West Africa has become a key transit point for South American cartels who seek to take advantage of weak governance and corruption which plague many of these states.

    Traffickers use these states as warehousing locations for drugs en route from South America to Europe.

    November 02, 2010

  5. Killa Weigha
    Those three dropped the dime on somebody bigger me thinks. Can they convict the big fish? Interesting, thanks guys.
  6. Terrapinzflyer
    I wouldn't be so sure. Africa operates very differently. Bribes and corruption are a fact of life, as are political and family connections.

    Crime is also viewed very differently there, especially when it is targeted at the more developed nations. It is very hard to explain but... in general supplying drugs to local communities would be frowned upon, but making good money supplying drugs to more developed countries would often not be.
  7. Killa Weigha
    Makes sense, thanks. People would love to get that sentence in "the west".
  8. chilling
    2 tonnes of coke is not worth one billion us dollars. dea has made bigger bust that were headed to the US and they didnt vaule at that much
  9. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ the values given are not in US dollars. The currency in Gambia is the Dalasis. approximate conversion:
    1 Billion Dalasis= $37,037,037 USD
    €27,777,778 Euros
    £23,255,813 British Pounds
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!