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In Mali Authorities seize $6M of cannabis on new drug route

Mali is becoming a hub for stocking drugs to be resold in neighbouring Guinea and Senegal, according to the country's customs officials.

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Mali seizes $6 mn of cannabis on new drug route play

Cannabis seized earlier by the Malian police, pictured on May 20, 2016 

(AFP Habibou Kouyate)
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Malian customs officials have made one of the country's biggest ever drug seizures, impounding 2.1 tonnes of cannabis detected along a new smuggling route that stretches down the west African coast.

The chief of Mali's mobile customs unit Ibrahim Diakite told AFP 1,254 bricks of cannabis were discovered Tuesday in Zantiguila, close to the capital Bamako, in a truck refitted to transport the illicit cargo.

The total value of the cannabis was estimated at 3.5 billion FCFA, or around $6.01 million.

"The length of the vehicle inside and outside didn't match," Diakite explained. "It's the biggest drug seizure by Malian customs ever," he added.

Four Malians were arrested, according to Diakite.

The drugs came along a newly established route from Burkina Faso which was being used to transport drugs of the same quantity once or twice a month, the customs official said.

Mali is becoming a hub for stocking drugs to be resold in neighbouring Guinea and Senegal, according to the country's customs officials.

Mali's anti-drug squad seized a record 2.7 tonnes of cannabis in the same area in May, uncovering the existence of the network. Wednesday's seizure was a record for customs agents, who was not involved in the previous operation.

Africa is the world's second largest cannabis producer after the Americas, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, with some of the highest per capita use of the drug globally.

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