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At record levels the global supply of cocaine – Its production increased by more than 2,000 tons

Production jumped 35% cocaine from 2020 to 2021, reaching record levels, according to a UN report released today that points to the emergence of new drug trafficking hubs in south-eastern Europe and Africa.

So in 2021 there were more than 3 million hectares of crops in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, the three countries where these crops are concentrated, reports the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which is based in Vienna, Austria.

After they are harvested, the coca leaves are taken over by chemists, who mix them with gasoline, lime, cement, and ammonium sulfate to make a white paste. This paste is then enriched in other laboratories with a cocktail of acids and solvents to make cocaine. In 2020, cocaine production rose to more than 2,000 tonnes – an unprecedented amount, according to the report.

After the temporary turbulence caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, global supply therefore “continued its spectacular increase”. In addition to an increase in crops, the UNODC explains this large rise by citing “improvements in the process of converting” coca leaves into cocaine.

The agency also noted “a continuous increase” in demand for the white powder over the past decade – as evidenced by the unprecedented volume of seizures (nearly 2,000 tonnes in 2021).

America’s wealthy

As soon as it leaves the ports and is cut -up to 40%-, the drug it is sold to the customer at around 70 euros per gram. Demand remains concentrated among the affluent populations of America and some parts of Europe.

This explosion “should put all of us on alert,” UNODC director Ganda Wali said. Central and West Africa also plays an increasing role as a transit zone. Also, more and more cocaine passes through the territories of Turkey and Greece, according to the UNODC report as reported by APE-MPE, citing AFP.

While the use of crack – a highly addictive derivative of smoked cocaine that has been dubbed the “poor man’s drug” – is already well documented in Britain, statistics show a “huge increase” in people entering rehab facilities in Belgium, France and Spain.

Finally, the report notes the impact of the war in Ukraine in terms of the routes of this drug.

“It is possible that foreign criminal organizations,” which previously used Ukrainian ports to evade controls in western Europe, may shift “their operations to other Black Sea ports, in Romania or Bulgaria,” the UNODC said.

Source: News Beast

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