What lockdown? World’s cocaine traffickers sniff at movement restrictions

In destination markets in Europe and the United States, authorities are still seizing large hauls with remarkable frequency
Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

cocaine seizureThe world’s cocaine industry — which produces close to 2,000 metric tons a year and makes tens of billions of dollars — has adapted better than many other legitimate businesses. The industry has benefited from huge stores of drugs warehoused before the pandemic and its wide variety of smuggling methods. Street prices around Europe have risen by up to 30 percent, but it is not clear how much of this is due to distribution problems, and how much to drug gangs taking advantage of homebound customers. What is clear is that cocaine continues to flow from South America to Europe and North America. Closed trafficking routes have been replaced with new ones, and street deals have been substituted with door-to-door deliveries.