Sneddon, S. (2011) Cocaine trafficking via West Africa: an assessment of EU policing and policies. Paper presented to: Policing and European Studies Mini-Conference, University of Abertay, Dundee, 25 February 2011.
This paper will assess the impact of the work of national, regional and international agencies on the trafficking of cocaine into the EU from South America (particularly Colombia) via West Africa (particularly Guinea Bissau). It focuses on the work of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in the UK, Europol, and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The paper reveals that, despite the rhetoric, there is not a truly coherent and coordinated approach to tackling this illegal and harmful trade. It argues that the return to Guinea Bissau of Admiral Na Tchuto in June 2010 underlines both the inherent fragility of any recent successes, and the challenges faced in trying to tackle the “need for coherence and improved coordination [in] the EU agencies [including Europol]. It will suggest that, despite cocaine production in Colombia falling to an “11-year low” in 2009, a more robust strategy is needed to tackle the flow of cocaine transiting West Africa, and prevent the flooding of the European cocaine market