From cigarettes to counterfeit medicines; drugs, petrol, arms and human beings, the networks of organised groups know no borders and have no limitation. Fueled by corruption and bad governance its destabilizing effect goes beyond social structure and it’s impact in many other ilicit activities like terrorism.
The manifestations of intricate linkages in Africa are becoming a source of concern as terrorism rises up and the illegal economy provides a lucrative way to financing exploiting the socio economic situation and the lack of control in the borders.
According with the UN, cocaine trafficking remains among the most lucrative illicit activities. In April 2017, the UNODC reported that developing markets are fuelling a resurgence of cocaine trafficking through West Africa.
UNODC further added that seizures on the Atlantic island of Cabo Verde, in the Gambia, Nigeria, and Ghana had contributed to a 78 percent increase in cocaine seizures from 2009-2014 compared to the previous reporting period.
Smugglers and traffickers who intake the cocaine from the Americas will typically transport drugs and other contraband overland across the Sahel and North Africa, before crossing into destination markets in Europe and these new developing markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.