Antoine Karam, senator (related to La République en Marche) of Guyana, will not stand for re-election on September 27. But before leaving his mandate, he will have succeeded in carrying out the mission for which he has fought for years: to warn about the devastating health, economic and social consequences of the cocaine trafficking that takes place from Guyana to France. metropolis. “We can’t run away from this fight, explains the former history professor. We must continue to challenge the state and the government. “
This is the subject of the information report released Tuesday, September 15, entitled “Ending cocaine trafficking in Guyana: the urgency of a more ambitious response”, at the end of the senatorial mission established in May. It is based first on one observation: the annual traffic in cocaine between this South American department bordering Brazil and Surinam and France amounts to around 4 tonnes. A “Ant trafficking”, relying on the use of a large number of smugglers, “mules”, recruited by trafficking networks and individually transporting small quantities of drugs on commercial flights.
Before the Covid-19 epidemic – which temporarily halted trading due to the near closure of Cayenne airport – 13 flights from Guyana landed at Orly every week: “20 to 30 smugglers would like to take each flight between Cayenne and Orly and 8 to 10 would actually do so”, details the report, the drug being either ingested (in 30% of seizures), or concealed close to the body (30% of cases), or carried in luggage (40%).
The average quantity of cocaine transported by each smuggler was around 2 kg in 2019. A kilo of cocaine bought for 3,500 euros on the banks of the Maroni, the border river between Suriname and Guyana, can be sold for 35,000 euros in France, and up to 60 euros per gram in Paris.
“Cocaine trafficking is developing as an economic activity in its own right”, notes the report. Of course, the risks exist. According to the Anti-Narcotics Office (Ofast), 1,200 smugglers were arrested in 2019 and 2,500 kg of cocaine from the Guyanese network seized, but “The traffic remains profitable”, emphasizes Mr. Karam. “The traffickers adopt a strategy of saturation. They send people smugglers, knowing that we cannot control everything ”, continues the senator.
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