Skip to main content

Africa: Drugs

Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of action taken to stop the trafficking of narcotics across African borders. (129424)

East and west Africa is increasingly being used as a transit route for cocaine and heroin from Latin America and Asia to European and other western markets. We have supported counter narcotics capacity building projects with local law enforcement agencies in Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and Senegal to improve interdiction through the provision of training and equipment.

While significant challenges remain, our assistance is starting to have some impact in the region. In 2006 the Kenyan authorities destroyed over one ton of cocaine from an earlier seizure. In Ghana, drugs interdiction training and equipment at Accra International airport (Operation Westbridge) has achieved some good success interdicting cocaine couriers, since the start of its operation in November 2006. As at 21 March 2007, 40 couriers destined for the UK or Europe had been interdicted with seizures of 130 kg of cocaine and 413 kg of cannabis, with an estimated UK street value of £8.5 million. This progress proves the importance of supporting good law enforcement co-operation coupled with training on interdiction techniques.