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Major cocaine haul seized off Senegal

A French soldier on board a vessel in the Gulf of Guinea. 21/03/2021   -  
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Senegal's military has seized more than three tonnes of cocaine from a ship moored off the coast, in one of the country's largest drugs hauls.

The navy made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that the ship was seized on Sunday night in international waters, with 10 crew on board, one of whom was Senegalese.

The vessel was then escorted to the Admiral Faye Gassama Naval Base in the capital Dakar on Tuesday for "identification and logging of the seized products".

The navy did not provide further details.

West and Central Africa has long been considered a key transit zone for drugs coming from Latin America. Now the region has also become one of high consumption, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Between 2019 and 2022, at least 57 tonnes of cocaine were seized in or en route to West Africa, 4.7 tonnes of which were in Senegal.

In January this year, Senegal seized more than 800 kilos of cocaine off the coast of Dakar.

The global number of cocaine users has grown steadily in recent years, with UNODC saying in its annual report in June that there were an estimated 22 million users in 2021.

However, the UN body also noted that cocaine seizures have grown faster, containing the supply of the drug to some extent.

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