OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Customs officers in Burkina Faso seized a record haul of around 115 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $11.5 million last week, the directorate general of customs said in a statement on Wednesday.
The drugs were intercepted on Thursday along the main road linking the southwestern city of Bobo to the capital of Ouagadougou, hidden in a vehicle with a foreign plate pretending to transport manioc flower.
The vehicle was loaded in Sierra Leone and drove through Guinea and Mali before crossing into Burkina Faso, a customs spokesman told Reuters.
Its final destination was Ghana.
All smugglers on board escaped from the scene and no arrests have been made, the spokesman added.
Cocaine hauls have become increasingly common in West Africa, a region often used as a transit route for illegal drugs en route from South America to Europe.
Niger confiscated more than 200 kilograms of cocaine from a truck in January, while Ivory Coast seized a record of more than 2 tonnes of pure cocaine last month.
Authorities in Gambia and Senegal have also made significant hauls in recent months.
(Reporting by Thiam Ndiaga; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Mark Porter)