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Sahara Travel ForumTopics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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This 2 ton stash is worth more than the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Gambia.
I'm coming round to thinking that the whole drugs, arms, AQIM thing in the Sahara is not going to be stopped by any concerted intervention. The West has a knack of standing off until such time as the tide has turned inexorably. I reckon that moment has more or less been reached in the Sahara.
Well don't get too pessimistic now, even if the problem won't go away anytime soon with the money involved. It will be this way as long as the war on drugs is on. But just a few arrests in Mali could make a difference for the desert.
1B$ makes the headlines but it is better to refer to the wholesale value, not? Maybe 10% of that then.
I hear that lately a lot of drugs are going east over Egypt to the Balkans, something that is not shown in this picture.
1B$ makes the headlines but it is better to refer to the wholesale value, not? Maybe 10% of that then.
Point taken. However, the distortion to the local economy and administration when stuff bearing the value of the entire GDP is in the basement of a wharehouse is the issue I wanted to flag. With 70% of the population bringing in 30% of the GDP through growing products like nuts, imagine the draw that this stuff imposes. Imagine 500 Billion dollars worth of some substance in your basement in Sweden!
And this find in the Gambia is just a small fraction of what is passing through. Bascially the sheer value of the stuff infects everything. Things are not the same again. It surely changes the outlook and values of honest administrators earning a few dollars a day when this impossible fortune is passing through. We can expect the same result across the Sahara when the drugs get moved through.
Point taken. However, the distortion to the local economy and administration when stuff bearing the value of the entire GDP is in the basement of a wharehouse is the issue I wanted to flag. With 70% of the population bringing in 30% of the GDP through growing products like nuts, imagine the draw that this stuff imposes.
Imagine 500 Billion dollars worth of some substance in your basement in Sweden!
NOUAKCHOTT, June 13, 2010 (AFP) - Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) mints to drug cartels his protection for their trades in the Sahara desert but the jihadists are far from being a "narco-terrorists," according to experts.
The AQIM fighters ensure the passage of convoys of cocaine and heroin destined for Europe and collect their tithe, according to corroborating sources interviewed by AFP in Mauritania, in Europe and the United States.
The recent seizure of more than two tonnes of cocaine, worth an estimated $1bn (about £675m) in The Gambia has once again shone a light on West Africa as a major transit point for narcotics making their way from Latin America to Europe.
Here we are in Mali in Africa, the country occupies a peculiar position: the South, it covers the countries of Black Africa's leading Atantique South.
A l'est, il a comme voisin la Mauritanie et au Nord-Est il touche l'Algérie, et �* l'Est enfin le Niger.
To the east, it has as a neighbor Mauritania and the North East it touches Algeria, and finally the eastern Niger.
Tous des pays impliqués dans des trafics de drogue, dont la cocaïne mais aussi la marijuana, qui passe habituellement vers le Maroc via l'Algérie, en provenance des bateaux de la côte Ouest africaine.
All countries involved in trafficking drugs, including cocaine and also marijuana, which usually goes to Morocco via Algeria, from boats on the west coast of Africa.
Parfois aussi dans l'autre sens, le Maroc étant également producteur.
Sometimes the other way, with Morocco being also a producer.
Si les pirates ont décidé de cracher leur avion l�*, c'est parce qu'ils voulaient brûler une étape pour arriver plus vite encore en Europe, où leur avion est interdit de vol pour vétusté.
If hackers have decided to spit their plane here because they wanted to burn a step to get even faster in Europe, where their plane is grounded for obsolescence.
Car visiblement, ce n'est pas une panne qui aurait obligé l'appareil �* atterrir l�* : non, selon plusieurs témoignages, il était bien attendu. C'est �* dire aussi qu'il bénéficiait sur place de pas mal de complicités, ce que nous allons découvrir aujourd'hui si vous le voulez bien.
Because obviously this is not a failure that would have required the aircraft to land there: no, according to several testimonies, it was well expected. This means also that it enjoyed on the spot a lot of complicity, this we will find out today if you wish.
In the Sahel, drug traffickers and terrorists share the land.
Two suspected members of terrorist organization AQIM were captured, some twenty days ago, by ex-Chadian rebels and handed over to security services in their countries.....Chad is also involved in terrorist activity since much of the weapons purchased with the ransom money comes from Chad.
"We know that planes have landed in Mali and Mauritania several times, carrying on every trip, up to four tons of cocaine. And to state that in 2009 more than 20 tons of drugs have passed through these two countries, while in 2008, 240 tons of cocaine from Brazil, Peru and Colombia have been through the African continent."
Tuareg who witnessed the landing of the 727 in late November 2009, as extensively published by the Malian press, said that the Mayor of Tarkint had "welcomed" the plane. This character is a connoisseur of the desert who has played an important role in negotiations with AQIM for the release of hostages German, Austrian, Canadian, and many others. The press had said that the crew of the "Coke 727" had disappeared from the Bamako airport. This leaves a suspicion of complicity at the highest level of the Malian authorities. On February 6, another flight carrying four tons of cocaine, led by four South American, landed on a runway in Kayes, a few hundred miles west of Timbuktu.
It was expected by local officials, but also the Malian military from Nampala (Segou region), which had proceeded to markup a runway before the landing. Three days later, another plane landed at Ain In Esser, south-east Tinzaouatine (near the border with Niger) and there the same notables from Tarkinte and Gao came to receive it. All these Arabs are close to the regimes of Bamako and Niamey, which have played an important role in the repression of the Tuareg rebellion in Niger and Mali, but now find themselves subcontractors to terrorists.
I think they mean the Kayes you're thinking of on the Senegal border.
There have been attacks and stuff reported there in recent months which seemed odd compared to the rest of Mali, so IMO was bound to have some connection which the whole cocaine/AQIM thing.
The ethnic divisions expressed have a ring of truth to them too. The wheeler-dealing Berabich run the show for the govt (like they run the shops and trade in Tim) while the Tuareg are just hired their own desert skills - a bit like the Hausa own the salt caravans in Niger. (All a bit of a simplification of course ;-)
The Boeing that was burned near Tarkint still has repercussions in Mali http://www.maliweb.net/category.php?NID=82014&intr=
Rather confusing, but:
- the incident has never been investigated by the proper authorities
- the president and the minister of transportation have put the lid on
- the French DGSE (Secret Service) have put the lid on, keeping the Americans out
Three people arrested:
- a friend of ATT (president of Mali) Ben Hako, owner of "Go Travel" agency
- the contractor who built the runway
- and a French pilot, Eric Vernay - who is now said to be a DGSE agent!
In short - the usual mess. http://translate.google.se/translate...2014%26intr%3D
No evidence for the claims other than common sense. I wonder where the new routes are across the Sahara? Niger, Libya I would guess.
"...the supply of cocaine from Latin America to Europe has never broken once in 40 years. "You can never draw accurate maps of cocaine trafficking because the routes have already changed by the time the ink dries up," he said.
He claimed that alternative smuggling routes were already being opened in Angola, the Republic of Congo, the Great Lakes region and post-war Libya.
"Profit margins in the cocaine trafficking business are so huge that longer smuggling routes and subsequently higher transport costs are not a problem"
Drug runner/mayor of Tarkint Baba Ould Sheikh was arrested in Gao a couple weeks ago but then let go by the mayor of Gao and militia leader Ag Gamou. This upset the French greatly and Ag Gamou is now back in Bamako, decommisioned. The French have more cleaning up to do in Bamako than in the north, but will they/can they?
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