A new United States report on Narcotic which was on Thursday presented by William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs before the US Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control has indicted traffickers from Nigeria and other West African countries.
The report, a copy which was sent to LEADERSHIP, notes that transnational organized crime, including drug trafficking, is a major threat to security and governance in Nigeria and other West African nations.
“Traffickers from West Africa are moving drugs, people, small arms, oil, cigarettes, counterfeit medicine, and toxic waste through the region, generating large profits for transnational criminal networks, the report says, adding that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) had estimated that, together, these illicit activities generate approximately $3.34 billion a year.
“Cocaine trafficking is one of the most lucrative of these illicit activities. In fact, the U.S. government and the UNODC have estimated that about 13 percent of the global cocaine flow moves through West Africa,” the report also notes.
The report warns West African governments to extend the rule of law, secure communities, and enforce common and transparent laws for all their citizens. “West Africa is a diverse region. WACSI will strengthen the capacity of host governments for security operations and will empower our partners to execute lawful operations”
“In Nigeria and Ghana, the United States’ assistance will focus on building capacity to detect, disrupt, and dismantle drug trafficking networks. In other cases, especially in post-conflict countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, the next step is enhancing basic law enforcement”
“Achieving peace and security requires justice systems, not simply the administration of justice. Arresting drug traffickers and their government facilitators will not cure the problem, particularly if there is not a transparent system of justice in place to incarcerate or rehabilitate offenders”
“WACSI will reinforce justice operations to ensure that suspects are arrested based on transparent charges, prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated or rehabilitated fairly and according to the law. While it is far easier to build a legal case against a low-level drug courier, successfully prosecuting mid- and senior members of drug trafficking networks requires sophisticated legal skills, which U.S. assistance will work to develop” the report reads in part.
The report continues that drugs and drug-related crime may flourish in ungoverned areas, where the government’s presence is weak or corrupt, noting that it is also the case that socio-economic factors are largely responsible for facilitating crime.
It further says that WACSI programs will engage African citizens and private enterprises to address the underlying socio-economic factors that facilitate crime and work to undermine them.
It also notes that helping the region prevent and contain domestic drug use is important to the United States’ West African partners and will be part of this approach.
Just recently, airport authorities at the Dulles International Airport, arrested a 52-year-old Bola Adebisi for ingesting an incredible 180 thumb-sized pellets filled with heroin.
However, the suspect who is still in detention claimed she was visiting her brother in the U.S., but she was unable give details of her “brother” and his address.