The continent of Africa prides itself on being home to a large portion of the valuable minerals on the planet, with huge numbers of them being sent out for money.
There are, in any case, fears that its greatest fares may now move to something all the more irritating – drugs.
A week ago, it was accounted for that as much as $800 million worth of heroin is transported yearly from shorelines of Mozambique to neighboring nations and to Europe.
“Mozambique is a significant heroin transit centre and the trade has increased to 40 tons or more per year, making it a major export which contributes up to $100 million per year to the local economy.
“With an export value of $20 million per ton, heroin is probably the country’s largest or second-largest export after coal,” according to a research report cited by Bloomberg.
In recent years, Africa has increasingly become the major transit points for cocaine smugglers, as these drugs continue to be in high demand universally.
Here are other top cocaine transit points in Africa:
The West African country was recently ranked the third cocaine transit destination in Africa behind Nigeria and South Africa respectively.
According to the 2016 World Drug Report by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ghana had become a major passage point for cocaine from South America en route to Europe.
“Of the cocaine shipments leaving Ghana, 61 per cent left the country by boat and 39 per cent by air”, the report indicated.
Politicians and other influential businessmen are believed to be behind the illegal drugs trade in Ghana. In 2005, a lawmaker, Eric Amoateng was arrested for the possession of heroin believed to be worth six million dollars.
Later in 2016, David McDermott, a British fugitive linked to a drugs gang was arrested in Ghana.
Meanwhile, the abuse of drugs continues to rise. As at 2016, marijuana was the main illicit drug used within Ghana and is trafficked within and from the country with increasing regularity, primarily to Spain. Cultivation of cannabis also increased in 2016.
The rate of drug abuse is alarming in Nigeria, with youths aged between 13 – 35, being highly involved in drug abuse.
Most of the country’s borders are porous, hence there is an easy influx, movement and exit of drugs, according to research.
The illicit drug trafficking has, however, been attributed to the rising rate of graduate unemployment, high level of corruption, and the desire by young people to get rich quickly.
Recently, there were reports that three Nigerians have been executed in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug-related offence, with several others being detained in parts of the Middle East country.
Three other women had earlier been arrested for illegal possession and importation of a dangerous drug- Ephedrine.
Cocaine coming from Latin America often stops in South Africa before being shipped to Europe and East Asia, reports say.
In June 2017, police in South Africa seized 500 million rand worth of cocaine ($36 million) and 104 million rand worth of heroin ($7.7 million) in separate raids in Western Cape province.
The previous year, scores of traffickers in that province were arrested in raids on shipments of heroin coming from Mozambique.
East Africa is a key transit hub for drugs destined for Europe and the United States, contributing about $10 billion to the over $322 billion global drug market business.
Kenya is a major trafficking hub in this illicit trade. In 2016, the UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime) warned that heroin addiction appears to be on the rise in the country, particularly along the Coast.
It added that “Only a tiny fraction of the drugs believed to transit in and through Kenya is seized by authorities. Arrests rarely lead to convictions. When convictions occur in Kenya, they are of lower level couriers and distributors.”
The heroine comes from Afghanistan and gets to Kenya via Pakistan. Dangerous drugs such as heroin, cocaine and meths recorded a 12% jump in 2014 over the previous year, according to an Annual Crime Report by the Kenya Police. In the 2015 report, the incidence of dangerous drugs went up by 14% over the previous year.
The East African country recently declared war on drug trafficking, announcing that politicians, businessmen, musicians and religious leaders who are usually behind the illicit trade would be dealt with.
According to the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Tanzania is a significant transit country for illicit drugs, particularly, heroin originating in Afghanistan and cocaine from South America, with a growing domestic user population.
There is inadequate security at Tanzanian seaports and traffickers exploit this and the country’s 854-mile coastline along the Indian Ocean.
Tanzanian drug trafficking organizations and courier networks also operate globally with cells throughout Africa, North America, and South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
In February 2014, a major drug kingpin, Ali Khatib Haji Hassan was arrested prior to his departure from Dar es Salaam for Johannesburg, South Africa.