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Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa

A Threat Assessment

image of Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa
This regional assessment is broadly focused on transnational organized crime (including drug trafficking) issues and the linkages with development, governance and security in West Africa. This Report is intended to provide a more comprehensive and nuanced picture of contraband flows, criminal markets and their political, social and economic impacts on the regions in question. It will be a means to convene strategic dialogue on emerging transnational organized crime threats, and the recommendation it yields will be built back into policy analysis and programme development throughout the United Nations System, including at the regional and country levels.

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Methamphetamine from West Africa to East Asia

West African involvement in transnational drug markets extends back at least as far as the 1970s. Nigerians, particularly those from the southeast of the country, have traditionally shuttled cocaine and heroin from diaspora communities near production areas (such as Karachi, Sao Paulo, and Bangkok) to diaspora communities in consumer countries. The West African sub-region itself played little role, aside from being an air stopover location and as a place to launder the profits. All this changed when the region became a cocaine transshipment zone in the mid-2000s.

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