DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal’s army said on Monday it had intercepted over 8 tonnes of cannabis after stopping a boat at the weekend, in the second large seizure off the West African nation’s Atlantic coast this month.
Interpol says drug kingpins are sending larger shipments in response to COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closures, which have restricted their ability to more frequently move smaller quantities of drugs via individual couriers.
West Africa is seen as a frequent stopping point for drugs including cocaine and cannabis from South America and elsewhere heading to North Africa and Europe.
Senegal’s army said on Twitter it had stopped a vessel with three Turkish crew members on Sunday and found 8.3 tonnes of hashish on board. It did not provide further details.
Earlier this month, Senegalese authorities intercepted another boat smuggling over 8 tonnes of cannabis resin. In March, authorities in Niger seized 17 tonnes of cannabis resin, the largest bust in the country’s history.
(Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Aaron Ross; editing by Barbara Lewis)