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Friday, July 30, 2021

Judge: New drug trafficking route emerging between Qatar, Argentina

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An Argentine judge has warned of the possible emergence of a new drug trafficking route from Buenos Aires to Doha, the South American country’s daily newspaper La Nacion has reported.

Officials in Argentina became alarmed earlier this month after six attempted cases to smuggle cocaine on Qatar Airways flights from Ezeiza International Airport near Buenos Aires to Doha came to light.

“Ezeiza-Qatar is a new and unusual route for drug trafficking,” a source close to Argentine Judge Alejandro Catania told La Nacion, which reported that all of the cases under investigation occurred during the first two weeks of September.

In each case, “mules” attempted to smuggle between half a kilogram and 1.5 kg of cocaine each. A police officer estimated a kilo of cocaine would be worth $80,000 to $90,000 in Qatar.

Like many Gulf countries, Qatar has long battled issues related to drug trafficking and doles out harsh penalties for anyone caught using or selling drugs.

In 2009, the GCC declared a war on drugs and established a UN-affiliated center in Qatar to fight trafficking within the region.

Still, the problem clearly persists.

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