The Drugs Scourge

GLOBAL DRUGS PROBLEM

Africa * Weak link in international drug control efforts. * Increasing drug abuse in several countries. Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Namibia and South Africa are main targets. * Many lack financial and technical resources to combat illicit trafficking.

Asia * Region targeted by Latin American cocaine cartels. * Hongkong is a major distribution and financial centre for designer drugs. * Vietnam emerging as important transit country for heroin and opium shipment from Golden Triangle. Drug traffickers have developed a new major land route through China. * Increasing heroin abuse in urban areas of India, Maldives and Nepal.

Central America and the Caribbean * Geographical location of countries exploited increasingly by drug traffickers.

* Netherlands Antilles emerging as transit point for cocaine shipped from Colombia, Suriname and Venezuela to North America and Europe. * Cocaine widely available in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, leading to rise in cocaine abuse.

North America * Smuggling of South American cocaine into Canada and the United States continues to be major problem due to large supply of the drug which is sold at low prices. * Free flow of goods among Canada, Mexico and United States under North American Free Trade Agreement could create loopholes for traffickers. * Hard-core drug use, crime and violence continue to be features of the drug scene in US.

South America * Brazil is main transit country for drug trafficking and supplier of chemicals for illicit drug manufacture. * Fighting a losing battle against drug traffickers. High court ruling in Colombia declared unconstitutional, penalties for ossession of small quantities of cannabis and cocaine. * Increasing strength of Cali cartel in Colombia following death of Medellin drug czar Pablo Escobar in 1993.

Europe * Cannabis remain main drug of abuse. * Portugal and Spain are the main entry points for cocaine being smuggled. * Unrestricted availability of “soft” and “hard” drugs in large European cities like Zurich. * Drug abuse threatening economic and social stability in CIS member states like Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

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