Global Cocaine production at record levels – UN

UN: Production of coca, the base ingredient of cocaine, has risen by 35% compared to pre-pandemic levels, as drug cartels take advantage of receding COVID-19 restrictions to smuggle record amounts of the narcotic across the world, according to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The spike in cocaine production is the sharpest rise since 2016 and comes amid efforts by powerful South American drug cartels to streamline the efficiency of drug labs.

“The pandemic was a bit of a blip for the expansion of cocaine production,” noted UNODC researcher Antoine Vella in comments published by The Guardian. He added that it has since “rebounded” to levels higher than before Covid-19. Demand dropped in recent years due to the closure of many bars and nightclubs during lockdowns, the report explains.

The findings suggest that cartels were forced to devise alternative methods to distribute the drug during the pandemic after many international flights were grounded and road traffic was heavily policed, forcing them to stockpile the drug.

Various drug seizures showed that traffickers had attempted to disguise cocaine in the distribution of everyday items such as inside avocados and even surgical facemasks. One case, officials said, even saw traffickers break the substance down into fabrics to bypass authorities before being reconstituted at its eventual destination – RUSSIA TODAY

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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