|[Published: Wednesday July 21 2021]
How Algeria became an emerging hub for cocaine coming to the UK
By Simon Speakman Cordall in Tunis
LONDON, 21 July. - (ANA) - The discovery of almost half a tonne of cocaine floating in waters off the Algerian port city of Oran late last month has underscored the growing importance of north Africa as a vital transit point for drug smugglers seeking access to lucrative European and Middle Eastern markets, writes the London-based Independent on Wednesday.
It was the second massive cocaine shipment discovered in Algeria. In May 2018, officials seized more than 700kg (1,540lb) of the drug on a cargo ship carrying frozen meat from Brazil, seeking to enter Oran after docking in Spain.
That seizure led to a national scandal and mass arrests across Algeria. With the latest haul – 490kg (1,080lb) of cocaine – presumed to have been abandoned at sea by smugglers ahead of boarding, the response to its seizure has consisted of little but chest-beating from the north African country’s security services. - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/21 July 2021 - - -