Bermuda Post

Tuesday, Jul 07, 2020

DEA: Cocaine market has collapsed during the pandemic

DEA: Cocaine market has collapsed during the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected the commercial activities of the common citizen, but has also caused the collapse of the cocaine market due to mobility restrictions and the drop in commercial activities in general, according to a report by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The report notes that Covid-19, in addition to crippling entire industries such as international aviation, tourism and entertainment, has caused an unprecedented collapse in the cocaine market.

Since March, when the effect of Covid-19 intensified worldwide, the price of coca leaf, the raw material for the production of cocaine, fell by more than 70%.

He specifies that the coca leaf has lost value, because the drug traffickers do not manage to get the drug from the producing countries to the main consumer markets.

According to the DEA, the drug cartels were affected by the paralysis of international flights and the closings of the borders. In addition, the increase in the security forces' surveillance checkpoints in the different countries have prevented the cartels from moving their cargoes, either by air, sea or land.

The coronavirus interrupted drug trafficking routes

A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime last May indicates that the measures applied by governments to curb the Covid-19 pandemic have caused the interruption of air drug trafficking routes, as well as a drastic reduction in land transport.

According to the document, some drug supply chains have been disrupted and traffickers are looking for alternative routes, including maritime routes, depending on the merchandise. Synthetic drugs, like methamphetamine, tend to be trafficked across continents by air more than other types of drugs. Meanwhile, most of the cocaine is trafficked by sea, so large cargoes continue to be detected in European ports during the pandemic.

He adds that heroin, which is often trafficked by land, could start trafficking by sea, as evidenced by seizures of opiates in the Indian Ocean.

Cannabis trafficking, according to the report, may not be affected in the same way as that of heroin or cocaine, as its production often takes place near consumer markets.


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