Mexico says won’t pursue charges against ex-defence minister

Mexico will not pursue criminal charges against Salvador Cienfuegos, the attorney general’s office said in a statement on Thursday, despite accusations by prosecutors in the United States that the former defence minister had collaborated with a major drug cartel. In November, a federal judge granted a US government request to drop drug charges against Cienfuegos and return him to Mexico, which called it a move that would restore trust in the neighbours’ severely strained security ties. The attorney general’s office said its analysis of the evidence showed Cienfuegos “never had any encounters with members of the criminal organisation investigated by … Continue reading Mexico says won’t pursue charges against ex-defence minister

Cocaine ‘ghost boat’ washes up in Marshall Islands

Police in the Marshall Islands have found their biggest drug haul ever, in an abandoned boat washed ashore on a small atoll, it’s thought the vessel might have drifted across the Pacific Ocean from Latin America, spending possibly months out at sea. The 649kg (1,430lb) of cocaine have an estimated street value of $80m, drugs often wash ashore on the remote Pacific archipelago, but last week’s discovery set a new record. Police said the drugs were incinerated on Tuesday, apart from two packets, which have been sent to the US Drug Enforcement Administration for testing. The 5.5m-long (18ft) boat was found … Continue reading Cocaine ‘ghost boat’ washes up in Marshall Islands

The UN removes cannabis from a list of the most dangerous substances

A United Nations commission has voted to remove cannabis from a list that categorized it as one of the most dangerous drugs a move that recognizes the plant as having medicinal value, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs approved a recommendation from the World Health Organization on Wednesday to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from it’s Schedule IV classification under the 1961 Single convention on Narcotics drugs. That designation put cannabis and one of it’s derivatives in a category alongside heroin and other opioids. Substances classified as Schedule IV are a subset of schedule I class, that means not only are they … Continue reading The UN removes cannabis from a list of the most dangerous substances

Afghanistan that is home to the heroin trade, moves into meth

Underneath a busy bridge in Kabul, among piles of discarded rubbish and a stream of filthy water, lives a drug-ravaged community of homeless men. “It’s no place for a human being,” said Khudadad, who is 48. “It’s not even fit for a dog.” Khudadad has been addicted to both heroin and methamphetamine, known as crystal meth, for the past five years. Heroin has long been a problem in Kabul but now many are turning to meth, a cheaper but equally dangerous drug. When I first started, meth wasn’t very common,” Khudadad said, but over the past few years more and … Continue reading Afghanistan that is home to the heroin trade, moves into meth

US to drop charges against Mexican ex-minister

The US is to drop it’s charges against a Mexican former minister accused of drug trafficking and laundering money, Gen Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda who was Mexico’s defence secretary from 2012 to 2018, was arrested at Los Angeles airport last month. Prosecutors said he had links to the “extremely violent” H-2 drug cartel, but on Tuesday the US Department of Justice said it would seek to dismiss the charges so he could be investigated and possibly charged under Mexican law. The 72-year-old pleaded not guilty to the charges last month. He was due to appear in US federal court in New … Continue reading US to drop charges against Mexican ex-minister

Smugglers arrested in Canada after abandoning $2.8M worth of drugs south of U.S. border

RCMP arrested two men after they were caught fleeing from Idaho into B.C. on Friday — shortly after U.S Border Patrol agents recovered abandoned duffle bags containing more than $2.8 million in cocaine and methamphetamine. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) say they were alerted to suspicious activity on a remote service road near Bonners Ferry, Idaho, just south of the border near Creston, B.C. An agent responded to the area and located two individuals who were concealing themselves, said Jason Givens, press officer with the CBP, as the agent approached, Givens said, the two men fled into Canada, the agent then found five duffle bags in the … Continue reading Smugglers arrested in Canada after abandoning $2.8M worth of drugs south of U.S. border

Cocaine-filled plane crashes in Mexico after high-speed airborne chase

The site where a small plane carrying cocaine crashed in Queretaro, Mexico. A light aircraft carrying almost half a ton of cocaine crashed in central Mexico after a high-speed airborne chase with authorities, and two people aboard died, the defense ministry said on Wednesday. Mexican military helicopters intercepted the plane in Mexican airspace and pursued it for hundreds of miles until it ran out of fuel and crashed in Botija, Queretaro on Monday, the ministry said in a statement. The plane was loaded with about 400 kilograms (880 pounds) of cocaine, the ministry added. In recent months a number of … Continue reading Cocaine-filled plane crashes in Mexico after high-speed airborne chase

Pablo Escobar: Money hidden in wall found in drug lord’s house

A nephew of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar has said he found a plastic bag with money worth $18m (£14m) hidden in the wall of one of his uncle’s houses. Nicolás Escobar told Colombian media “a vision” indicated where to look for the money in the apartment where he lives in the city of Medellín. He said it was not the first time he found money in places where his uncle used to avoid capture, as Escobar reportedly hid millions in properties. He died in a police shootout in 1993. At the peak of his career Escobar was said to … Continue reading Pablo Escobar: Money hidden in wall found in drug lord’s house

Drug trafficker facing death sentence escapes jail through sewage pipes

A Chinese drug trafficker on death row in Indonesia made a daring escape last week by tunneling through the sewage system, local police announced on Monday. Cai Changpan, also known as Cai Ji Fan, was jailed in the Tangerang area on the outskirts of the capital city Jakarta, on charges of smuggling methamphetamine. Last Monday, he escaped by digging a hole from his cell into waste pipes and onto a road outside the prison, according to Jakarta police spokesperson Yusri Yunus. Cai had been planning this escape for five to six months, according to his cell mate. He dug the … Continue reading Drug trafficker facing death sentence escapes jail through sewage pipes

Panama governor stopped in car with 79 drug parcels

Police in Panama say they have detained two Panamanian nationals who were travelling in a car carrying 79 packets of illegal drugs. Local media have identified one of the detained as the governor of Guna Yala, Erick Martelo. He has since been removed from office. The police said they had been acting on a tip-off and stopped the car in the early hours of Tuesday at a road block. They found the drugs stashed underneath the seats. Panamanian President Nito Cortizo wrote on Twitter [in Spanish] that he was committed to a zero tolerance policy towards any behaviour which goes against … Continue reading Panama governor stopped in car with 79 drug parcels

Australian man jailed after crashing into marked police cars with $145 million of crystal meth in his van

Just when you thought you have seen it all, surprises always turn up, no matter how strange it might appear to be, a good example of this, was when a drug courier who crashed a van packed with methamphetamine into two marked police cars in what officers called “one of the easiest drug busts” ever made was jailed on Friday by a court in Australia. Simon Tu was sentenced to six years and six months in prison on the charge of supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, according to the New South Wales district court. He will … Continue reading Australian man jailed after crashing into marked police cars with $145 million of crystal meth in his van