Criminal gangs exploiting merchant shipping to traffic illicit drugs

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Nearly 90 per cent of all cocaine, 45 per cent of all cannabis and 30 per cent of all amphetamine-type stimulants seized globally from January 2017 to April 2020 were trafficked via sea, despite the best efforts of the shipping sector to combat this activity, said a message from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) in its latest publication, Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse On Board Ship: Guidelines for Owners and Masters on Preparation, Prevention, Protection and Response. The new guidelines also take into account the impact and implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has had an ongoing effect on drug trafficking and drug abuse due to the changing nature of the management of national borders and the alteration of established behaviours, said a report.