The big clock of the Hôtel du district du Plateau, in Abidjan, shows 11 sharp. The place has a certain importance in the history of Côte d’Ivoire. It was in front of this modern building made of bush-hammered concrete and adorned with ocher quartz pebbles that Félix Houphouët-Boigny proclaimed the country’s independence on August 7, 1960. This Monday, June 27, 2022, we are busy on the forecourt. A large delegation enters the conference room. It shows full.
On the occasion of the 35th edition of the International Day Against abuse and drug trafficking in West and Central Africa, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launches its annual global report. At the podium, the Ivorian Minister of the Interior and Security, Diomandé Vagondo, does not go there by four paths. “Our country is unfortunately on the way to becoming a strong transit zone”, launches this faithful of Alassane Ouattara, dressed in a petrol blue suit. The Minister’s words resonate particularly: for nearly two months, Abidjan has been shaken by the dismantling of a vast network of drug traffickers whose ramifications extend as far as Lebanon, Spain, Italy and Colombia.
The prostitute and the cook
Large drug seizures are often the result of lengthy investigations. Spinning mills are organized, the traffickers are placed on telephone tapping. It is also sometimes necessary to rely on a good dose of chance. On April 15, at first light, the inhabitants of the Sapim district, in the town of Koumassi, were arrested by a young passerby.
Haggard, very troubled and with a bruised face, she recount to be a prostitute and to have spent the night in the house of a Hispanic. A very restless night. The sexual appetite seems to be increased tenfold by the high dose of cocaine consumed, the fellow in question hounded her for hours. He even tried to force her to take drugs. Unhappy to be refused, he let his nerves get on her, before throwing her out bluntly, without even paying her.
When the men from the Koumassi 20th arrondissement police station arrive on the scene, they find the door closed. After informing the public prosecutor, Richard Adou, they decide to force entry. The occupant, a Colombian, is particularly excited. You have to master it. In the living room, the police fall on about fifty breads of cocaine, of approximately 1.5 kilos each. The men of the Narcotics and Drugs Police Department (DPSD) then took over, searched the house from top to bottom and discovered in the cellar an even larger shipment of drugs, equipment used for its packaging, and of the passports.
Ivory Coast: behind the scenes of the record seizure of two tons of cocaine