The Home Affairs Ministers of the G8 and African countries - including Togo - have adopted a plan to try to curb cocaine trafficking, on Tuesday in Paris; It provides, notably, increased cooperation and closer monitoring of financial transactions.
In recent years, much of the drugs in Europe and the United States makes its first stop in West Africa from South America (Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico). The French Minister of Interior, Claude Gueant, stressed the importance of the scourge in West Africa, where traditional transport and small marine cargo are gradually being replaced by large commercial aircrafts purchased by the traffickers.
The two support points are the Gulf of Guinea and Benin, he said.
The Minister expressed concern about the impact on the countries of the region where traffickers ensure local complicity by giving up on some of their merchandise, thus, opening secondary markets.
Togo is not immune to this scourge. Despite efforts by police, the customs, officials of the Port of Lomé (PAL) and intelligence services, significant quantities of cocaine still transit the country.
"Unable to search thousands of containers that arrive daily at the port," says an official of PAL.
Drugs are being distributed by sea or via mules from Lomé airport. Smugglers are routinely arrested for boarding for Europe.
In June 2010, the National Anti-Drug committee in Togo destroyed 921.45 kilograms of drugs seized during the year, including 912 kg of marijuana, 8.45 kilograms of cocaine and one kilogram of heroin.
The Togolese authorities have developed close cooperation with the French anti-drug services and with the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).