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Chad’s illegal drug trade contributes to regional insecurity

Disir

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On 24 July, a court in Chad sentenced 10 people including high-ranking security and intelligence officials as part of a transnational tramadol trafficking cabal. Tramadol is a synthetic opiate and anti-inflammatory medication.

Although not a first, this case is unprecedented in its scope and involvement of senior officials. In January 2020, a shipment of 246 boxes (about 47kg) of tramadol, worth XAF12.3 billion (around €18.8 million), coming from India via Douala, Cameroon, and bound for Libya, was seized by Chadian customs.

Chad is positioned south of Libya, on the eastern edge of the Sahel and Lake Chad, west of Sudan and north of the Central African Republic (CAR). There’s latent conflict in the CAR, Boko Haram in the west, intensifying community conflicts on the border with Sudan and various armed gangs, and a volatile situation in southern Libya.

This complexly insecure environment makes it a lucrative market for contraband. Apart from tramadol, other smuggling activities involve arms, other types of drugs (particularly hashish), stolen vehicles and humans.

I just don't see a whole lot of communication or collaboration going on.
 

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