WCO reports 15% increase in drug seizures between 2002 and 2003
The World Customs Organization reported this week the number of drug seizures by customs administrations increased by 15 percent between 2002 and 2003.
Afghanistan remains the world’s largest opium source, while Morocco continues to be the main source country for cannabis resin, especially for the Western European market, the WCO report said. Similarly, Asia-Pacific accounts for 98 percent of the world’s methamphetamine seizures.
In 2003, customs administrations globally seized about 64 tons of cocaine. This equates to a 35-percent increase over 2002, the WCO said. Nearly 87 percent of the cocaine seizures were made in Western Europe. More than seven tons of heroin were seized in 2003.
Accurate reporting is key to the WCO’s drug seizures statistics, according to WCO secretary general Michel Danet.
“Our members have to cooperate more fully by reporting all drug seizures, trends and trafficking methods to the WCO,” Danet said in a statement. “This will help us to tailor and refine our enforcement strategies and adapt our customs services to an ever-changing illicit drugs market.”
The WCO has also developed close working relationships with other international law enforcement bodies, such as the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), International Narcotics Control Board and United Nations Office off Drugs and Crime.