Swansea: Undercover police corner cocaine dealers in their car
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People in the UK are using postal services to get their cocaine as authorities seize more and more Class A drugs from deliveries. This shocking information comes in a new United Nations report which also describes how demand is increasing after the pandemic. Parcels and courier services became a more popular transportation option for drug mules because planes could not be relied upon during the pandemic.
Yachts and small boats are another way people have been trying to get cocaine into Britain.
The UN adds that global cocaine production is at an all-time high as demand increased after the pandemic. Coca cultivation also rose by 35 percent between 2020 and 2021.
The largest markets were found in Europe and North America, followed by South and Central America and the Caribbean, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime study said.
Due to international travel being so heavily disrupted during the pandemic, drug traffickers were unable to keep up their usual pace.
The UN’s report said that the retail level within Europe’s domestic market, lockdown rules “impacted the ability of dealers and consumers across drug types to connect.”
It added: “The United Kingdom, for example, recorded a significant increase in seizures of cocaine in the fast parcel and postal modes.”
The closure of bars and nightclubs during the pandemic also impacted those trying to sell drugs.
The report went on: “The most recent data suggests this slump has had little impact on longer-term trends. The global supply of cocaine is at record levels.
“There has been a continuing growth in demand, with most regions showing steadily rising numbers of users over the past decade.
“Although these increases can be partly explained by population growth, there is also a rising prevalence of cocaine use.”
The UK is not alone, however, as the report found that the use of cocaine is also up in European countries like Belgium, France, Spain and Italy.
The UN’s report also found that crack cocaine and heroin are two drugs strongly linked to the County Lines drugs model in the UK, with authorities warning this is “driving violence at the lower end of the supply chain.”
It said: “The UK police reported carrying knives and firearms, severe beatings and sexual violence, injuring, robbery and assault among players in drug distribution networks.”
Tense competition between drug traffickers has also led to violence such as “punishment of gang members, enforcement or creation of drug debts which the victim has to pay off, and intimidation of individuals into working for the line.”
The report added: “Much of this criminal activity relies on the exploitation of vulnerable people, including young people.”
Albanian-speaking groups are also trying to gain “considerable control across the drug market” in the UK via supply routes to the southeast of England, the UN claimed.
They concluded: “It appears that Albanian-speaking groups may manage cocaine distribution networks across Europe with a certain degree of transnational coordination, in addition to forming direct relationships with suppliers in Latin America.”
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