Cocaine is generally known as one of the illegal stimulant drugs in existence. For the wrong reasons, Nigeria has become the most prominent international passage for transporting it in Africa.
Either for recreation or increased energy, it is incontestable that the range of dangers associated with the use of cocaine outnumbers the overblown benefits.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Nigerian market pinnacles the list of cocaine smuggling regions in Africa.
AllNews Nigeria retrieved the information via the recently released Global Report on Cocaine 2023 by the UN agency.
Experts said Nigerian cocaine traffickers thrive on a long chain of trusted and complicit networks.
"They collaborate with Nigerians in other countries leveraging on association with fellow cult groups, European conspirators, and partners in Brazil," one of them explained.
Our correspondent interacted with an anonymous source in the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), who divulged that the unprecedented increase in the demand for cocaine in Nigeria necessitated the steep growth in supply and market in the country.
According to the UNODC report, Nigeria and some other countries have triumphed in the cocaine market.
Between 2018 and 2021, trafficking of cocaine was reported from Nigeria to 20 countries or territories.
Other countries leading the pack include Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, and Liberia.
Algeria, Ethiopia, and Morocco are also dominant but not as hugely influential as Nigeria, while Australia, China, Hong Kong, China, India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka are strong cocaine forces in the Asia-Pacific region.
Cocaine transportation is rampant in the Near and Middle East/ South-West Asia (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and in Europe (Turkiye, United Kingdom).
Further findings reveal that cocaine enters Nigeria through different means.
Smugglers often use bulk carrier vessels arriving at Apapa, Tincan Island, and Onne seaports.
The UN report explained that cocaine traffickers also use passenger flights into airports such as those of Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, and Kano: across land borders at various locations, including Seme (on the border with Benin) and llela (on the border with Niger), and via parcels delivered by courier companies or postal services to perfect their illicit activities.
The most worrying circumstance is that the most prominent departure country for cocaine reaching Nigeria is Brazil, and Nigerian traffickers also do the cocaine business in neighbouring countries and North Africa.
Despite the efforts of the Nigerian authorities, Nigerian traffickers flex their international network to bypass restrictions.
Though the security architecture tries to reduce the volume of cocaine transiting Nigerian territory, the reality that more Nigerians are joining the cocaine business globally is making their efforts increasingly futile.
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