The Amount of the Cocaine Shipped from Brazil to Europe Is Increasing
Brazil is becoming a growing exporter, ahead of Colombia's largest producer. This became clear from announced customs data, BGNES reported.
So far this year, by September 25, authorities have seized 40.7 tonnes of cocaine at the Belgian port of Antwerp, the main entry point for drugs. Quarter of the seized drugs, 26 percent, came from Brazil, according to Belgian Customs Services.
Drugs imported from Colombia dropped from 50% last year to 13%.
Evidence show that Ecuador has also become a major source of cocaine, with 20% coming from that country. Costa Rica also figures in the data, representing 16% of the cocaine seizure in Antwerp.
Customs spokesman Florence Angeliceli told AFP the figures in part indicated that law enforcement in South American countries were becoming "more proactive" in checking consignments for smuggled drugs and informing Belgian authorities.
But overall, the shift has shown that cocaine trafficking has become more internationalized, with countries neighbouring Colombia increasingly being used as drug trafficking platforms to Europe.
"The cultivation and production in Colombia increased significantly the past five years. All neighbouring countries seems to be impacted," the statement said.
Brazil is particularly problematic. The huge country is home to many criminal gangs and maintains maritime trade links with Europe.
"We in Europe do everything we can to enhance the cooperation and information exchange with Brazil," the Belgian customs service said, adding that a memorandum on the issue was signed recently with Brazilian counterparts, AFP reported.