European Traffickers Barter Ecstasy for Colombian Cocaine
BOGOTA – European drug traffickers are paying for Colombian cocaine with shipments of the synthetic drug Ecstasy, El Tiempo daily reported Friday, citing the Andean nation’s DNE counter-narcotics agency.
The European mobs prefer Ecstasy to cash as a medium of payment because it is easier to get the pills past Colombian customs agents, DNE director Omar Figueroa told the newspaper.
“They barter because it’s more profitable for them and easier to carry (Ecstasy) pills disguised as medicine than to bring in dollars,” he said.
The practice came to light when Polish police seized a consignment of 15 million Ecstasy pills ready for shipment to Colombia, the world’s leading producer of cocaine.
Colombian cartels convert every pill they get from the Europeans into six pills, cutting the Ecstasy with substances such as acetaminophen and coca paste, El Tiempo said.
The International Narcotics Control Board, a U.N. body, said in its latest report on the global drug trade that traffickers use the same smuggling channels for cocaine and Ecstasy and that Colombia’s neighbor Venezuela has become a major transit country for both drugs.
In a recent national survey, some 55,000 Colombians admitted to having used Ecstasy during the past year.
saturday, march 27, 2010