There is a new dimension to the cocaine trafficking bound for Europe, and this requires more attention. After a significant rise in recent years, it is now estimated that nearly 50 tonnes of cocaine pass through West Africa each year before reaching European soil; in other words, one fifth of the cocaine that makes its way into Europe. The fragile States of West Africa are not in a position to take on Latin American organised crime gangs, which are much stronger in terms of resources. The establishment of the illegal drug market in those weak States goes hand in hand with a rise in instability, growing levels of corruption, possible financing of non‐governmental armed groups and high incidence of cocaine use.

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