|[Published: Saturday July 24 2021]
How Algeria became an emerging hub for cocaine coming to the UK
By Simon Speakman Cordall in Tunis
LONDON, 24 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 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/24 July 2021 - - -