12 Mar 2013

Mali war disrupts cocaine supply to Europe

France's surprise intervention in northern Mali against Islamist fighters involved in lucrative drug-running has disrupted cocaine supply to Europe but smugglers are already finding new routes, analysts said. The former colonial power sent its jets and troops exactly two months ago to eliminate Al-Qaeda-linked groups that had been controlling northern Mali for nine months and were threatening to move south towards the capital.


The jihadist network in Mali's north has funded itself by taking foreign hostages but also by levying a tax on smugglers running drugs from Latin America to feed Europe's ever-growing market. Poverty and the lack of government presence in the vast desert expanse has provided an ideal ground for smugglers.

Daily Nation