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World Crime Report: Dramatic Reduction in SA Cannabis Seizures

World Crime Report: Dramatic Reduction in SA Cannabis Seizures

South Africa has become an international drug dealing hub and is becoming more corrupt by the day. These are among the findings of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime , which also reports that local cannabis seizures have dropped dramatically in recent times.

Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime

27 September 2023 at 15:00:00

Cannabis continues to be the most widely used drug in South Africa but is not as widely traded as in other African countries. 


Although the illegal trade is generally controlled by criminal gangs, it is not characterized by the same level of violence as other underground activities.


These are among the findings of the latest World Crime Report which says that corruption is endemic in the country and that we have become an international hub of heroin dealing, linking suppliers in Afghanistan with consumers in Australia and Europe.


Cannabiz Africa publishes excerpts from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime report below:


“South Africa has a long history of corruption between state actors and criminal organizations, leading to widespread mistrust in the government and law enforcement. 


Corruption is pervasive across different state departments, including senior levels within prosecution and prison services. 


The political system has been accused of being a kleptocracy, damaging the image of the South African police and leading to a significant drop in trust from the public.


In contrast to cocaine and heroin, cannabis is the most widely used drug in South Africa, but the trade is moderate compared to other high-prevalence consumer countries on the continent. 


Domestic and regional organized criminal groups, in conjunction with corrupted state security officials, facilitate the trade of cannabis by air, land and sea routes. 


However, the illegal movement and sale of cannabis have not generally been characterized by violence, and South Africa has seen a dramatic reduction in cannabis seizures. 


Cannabis for local consumption is produced and grown in South Africa predominantly in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, as well as in neighbouring countries such as Lesotho, Swaziland and Malawi. 


Due to legalization, there have been shifts in the country’s production, with less demand for low-grade cannabis.


Regarding synthetic drugs, South Africa has become a new trafficking route for methamphetamine to East Asia. 


While the manufacture of the drug exists in South Africa, the country is also a transit hub for methamphetamine sourced from Nigeria and Western Asia. 


Recent seizures suggest that there is an influx of Afghan methamphetamine being trafficked into Africa through South Africa, which is also a major consumer market for the drug. 


Gang distribution and control of the ‘tik’ market are present in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay. 


Estimated methamphetamine use levels in some areas of the country are among the highest reported in the world, suggesting that the number of users may be far higher than previously thought. 


Chinese syndicates appear to be providing chemical precursors for West African and Nigerian methamphetamine production and distribution syndicates in South Africa. 


South African crime groups have reportedly exchanged abalone catches for methamphetamine, forging cash-free trade relationships with Cape gangs that control the local drug market. 


Although the Mandrax market is not as lucrative as other drugs, it is still popular in South Africa, with India and China being the suspected sources of precursors.

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