African drugs traffickers using new tactics

May 17, 2017

In a disturbing finding, a security researcher has sounded a warning that Africa would continue to be organised crime’s place of choice to smuggle illegal drugs too as long as demand keep growing.Data obtained by your blogger from the researcher indicate that organised crime gangs are making upwards of $50,000 a month from drug runs that deliver marijuana, cocaine, and ice to thousands of customers’ doors across Africa.Your blogger can reveal there are dozens of similar drug runs operating in Africa based on the researcher’s work.The drug runs are the lifeblood of West and South Africa crime gangs and fund other criminal activities and their lavish underworld lifestyles. In South Africa, conflict over the turf of drug runs is often the catalyst for drive-by shootings across the country. One group operating in Lagos, which has for years been operating a drug run that has yielded its members millions of dollars a month, is said to be purchasing a kilogram of high quality cocaine from Latin America every month and then cuts the drug with a kilogram of other substances. The diluted cocaine is then separated into 0.5 gram deal bags sold on to customers for at least $60 each. For an outlay of between $100,000 and $150,000 for a kilogram of cocaine, and once other expenses are paid for, this group is collecting $200,000 a month according to the researcher. In Lagos and Abuja, runs are operated like small businesses with organised crime gangs employing an errands manager who will find a house where the drugs can be weighed out and bagged and who then oversees the operation. The errands manager then employs two or three people to run the drugs from the residence to the customers. Daring drug runners in Lagos and Abuja often use hire cars to do deliveries in a bid to avoid detection and typically don’t carry more than about 10 deals at one time in case they are caught by police. The researcher says the office and home deliveries method of dealing drugs is now the most popular way to distribute marijuana, cocaine and ice. Office delivery just like home delivery are more discreet than having dozens of people turn up at one single hood to purchase drugs.It has become particularly popular way for South Africa and West Africa gangs to carry out their business although researcher said that gangs tend to still do drug deals in the street.

Most of Africa’s drug runs are centred around a selected few mobile phone numbers that customers contact when they are looking to buy.Some of the phone numbers used by dangerous drug runs are only in existence for few months. In West Africa operations, they contact their clients when they receive a new shipment of drugs in a bid to drum up business.In researcher’s findings, some phone numbers are usually spread among customers through word of mouth.South Africa crime groups also sell their numbers to rival gangs for thousands of dollars.There were instances researcher was able to document cases where some phones fell into the hands of rival groups, sparking killings.Drug runs are operating all over Africa with main concentration in South Africa and West Africa. The control of drug runs is highly lucrative and it also funds other criminal activities, such as drug importations and the purchase of firearms to defend the drug runs.West Africa criminal groups are increasing the quantity of drugs being successfully imported into Africa which is driving the street prices down especially in South Africa and West Africa.As per researcher, crime gangs are importing more of the deadly drugs into Africa than ever. Base substances are being imported by crime gangs before being produced for sale on the street.Organised crime groups have become entrenched in all levels of the Africa drug market, with no one group dominant, the researcher says.These groups also have ready access to detailed information on ­alternative drugs precursor production processes. For example more marijuana was being sold to fund the purchase of cocaine. Rural areas were being crippled by marijuana.Researcher said marijuana was at unprecedented levels. Organised crime is using marijuana to profit, to the detriment of the economic and social fabric of the African rural community.In one of the many well documented cases by the researcher, a drug syndicate allegedly persevered with the importation of $3 million worth of cocaine despite some of its members being arrested but for unknown reasons police in that country did not announce the seizure. As of the time of writing this post, charges against the arrested members have been dropped, while the man who allegedly acted as their minder in security services has been promoted to a higher rank making life more easier for the mules to continue with their trade.

Contador Harrison