Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ)
Drug trafficking is a global il icit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws.
Events of the past year shed additional light on the corrosive impact of organized crime and drug trafficking on peace, security and development and on the inherent difficulties the United Nations and its partners face in effectively responding to such threats. In West Africa, Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean there has been a profound shift in the nature of the threat and a growing recognition of its impact. Other regions, such as Europe, are affected by these developments also. They continue to face chal enges stemming from the demand, supply, production and trafficking of drugs.
Afghanistan has dominated the worldwide opium market for more than a decade. In 2009, the total quantity of opium produced in that country was 6,900 metric tons, accounting for 90 per cent of global supply. Afghan heroin feeds a global market worth some $55 bil ion annual y, and most of the profits of the trade are made outside Afghanistan. Afghanistan and its neighbours are affected by trafficking as the drugs are moved to their key destination markets of Western Europe and the Russian Federation. About a third of the heroin produced in Afghanistan is transported to Europe via the Balkan route, while a quarter is trafficked north to Central Asia and the Russian Federation along the northern route. Afghan heroin is also increasingly meeting a rapidly growing share of Asian demand. Approximately 15-20 metric tons are estimated to be trafficked to China, while a further 35 metric tons are trafficked to other South and South-East Asian countries. Some 35 metric tons are thought to be shipped to Africa, while the remainder supplies markets in other parts of Asia, North America and Oceania.
Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Many of these countries are transit countries for cocaine bound for the main consumer markets in North America and Europe. For the North American market, cocaine is typical y transported from Colombia to Mexico or Central America by sea and then onwards by land to the United States and Canada. The US authorities estimate that close to 90% of the cocaine entering the country crosses the US/Mexico land border, most of it entering the state of Texas. According to US estimates, some 70% of the cocaine leaves Colombia via the Pacific.
Colombia remains the main source of the cocaine found in Europe, but direct shipments from Peru and the Plurinational State of Bolivia are far more common than in the US market. The relative importance of Colombia seems to be in decline. For example, in 2002, the UK authorities reported that 90% of the cocaine seized originated in Colombia, but by 2008, the figure fel to 65%. In a
number of other European countries, Peru and the Plurinational State of Bolivia seem to be the primary source countries of cocaine.
The Near and Middle East has reported high levels of amphetamine seizures in recent years. Reports of amphetamine seizures from countries in the Middle East continue to refer predominantly to tablets bearing the Captagon logo. The nature of the psychoactive ingredients in such tablets is not always clear, but reports suggest that amphetamine trafficked from South-East Europe is the main ingredient in Captagon tablets found in the consumer markets of the Middle East (notably Saudi Arabia), frequently alongside caffeine. Laboratories may also exist in countries along this route, possibly carrying out the conversion into tablet form. Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Syrian Arab Republic serve as important transit points. Moreover, Turkey is a prominent transit country for heroin. In North Africa, large seizures of cannabis herb are reported from Morocco.
Between 2004 and 2007, at least two distinct trans-shipment hubs emerged in West Africa: one centred on Guinea-Bissau and Guinea, and one centred in the Bight of Benin which spans from Ghana to Nigeria. Colombian traffickers transported cocaine by 'mother ship' to the West African coast before offloading to smal er vessels. Some of this cocaine proceeded onward by sea to Spain and Portugal, but some was left as payment to West Africans for their assistance. The West Africans then trafficked this cocaine on their own behalf, largely by commercial air couriers. Shipments were also sent in modified smal aircraft from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to various West African destinations.
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