Venezuela reports 60 tonnes-drugs siezed in 2009

Chavez says consumption in the United States and Europe is the main factor driving the illegal drug trade.

Venezuela reports 60 tonnes-drugs siezed in 2009

Venezuela reported on Saturday 60 tonnes of drugs were confiscated in 2009, an 11 percent bigger haul than the previous year, and said anti-narcotics efforts had improved since it ended work with the United States.

The South American nation is a major transit country for Colombian cocaine to Europe and, to a lesser extent, the United States. Cocaine and marijuana accounted for nearly all of Venezuela's drug confiscations in 2009.

"The 2009 figure shows the government's performance in battling drugs, and makes Venezuela one of the most effective countries in this respect," state news agency ABN said.

Amid deteriorating bilateral relations, President Hugo Chavez ended work with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in 2005.

Venezuela's National Drugs Office head Nestor Reverol said the higher levels of drugs' confiscation and destruction since then shows the U.S. government had a policy of obstruction, to prevent the reduction of this social ill.

Chavez says consumption in the United States and Europe is the main factor driving the illegal drug trade.

According to the drug office's latest statistical breakdown, between Jan. 1 and Dec. 24 of 2009, cocaine accounted for 27.5 tonnes or 45.9 percent of the drugs captured, while marijuana was 32.2 tonnes or 53.8 percent.

In 2008, the cocaine haul was 33.6 tonnes or 61.5 percent of the total, and marijuana 20.7 tonnes or 37.9 percent.



Reuters


Last Mod: 03 Ocak 2010, 17:08
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