11:30 GMT – Europe flooded with cocaine despite trade disruptions

Latin American drug lords have sent bumper shipments of cocaine to Europe in recent weeks, including one in a cargo of squid, even though the coronavirus epidemic has stifled legitimate transatlantic trade, senior anti-narcotics officials told Reuters news agency.

The illegal drugs industry has been disrupted by the virus, with international supply chains busted and millions of customers on lockdown.

But drug kingpins have risen to the challenge, packing huge loads of cocaine into the fewer container ships and commercial airplanes in circulation in a sign they were ready to take higher risks to deliver their wares.

“Based on seizures of bigger-than-usual shipments of cocaine, it would be fair to say that Europe was flooded with cocaine ahead of lockdowns,” Bob Van Den Berghe, senior law enforcement officer at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told Reuters.

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