South Africa has become a 'key transit hub' for global heroin, cocaine trade

09 March 2016 - 14:35 By Jeff Wicks

South Africa, and Africa as a whole, has become a key transit hub for Afghan heroin and Latin American cocaine.

Cocaine. File photo.
Cocaine. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The limitless funding of drug cartels and the violence brought with them to transit routes through the continent, fuelled social and political destabilisation of African countries.

Russian Federal Drug Control Service’s Victor Ivanov, speaking at the Russia-Africa Anti-Drug Dialogue in Durban, said that drug trafficking should be viewed as seriously as terrorism.

Speaking through an interpreter, he said: "The primary source and reason for the global drug situation are two centres of drug production, specifically heroin from Afghanistan and cocaine from Latin America."

"Over four trillion dollars, proceeds of this drug trade, feeds the transnational crime networks. Large scale production and trafficking to different markets leads to a surge in related violence, as well as political and social instability," he said.

Ivanov said that African states often fell victim to drug trafficking organisations that ran as a "quasi-state entity within African states".

"This [the illicit drug trade] has volumes equivalent to the GDP of some African countries and contributes to the violence in these transit countries."

"Illegal drug trafficking clearly correlates with problem in state governance and poor economic performance," he said.  

He said that piracy in international waters off the coast of Africa was directly linked to the international drug trade.

"The drug related essence of the problem [of piracy] is being covered up, the fundamental basis of piracy is trafficking expensive drugs. Africa shows the most clear example of destructive effect of drug trafficking and we see how harmful the situation is becoming," he said. 

Source: News24