French customs have seized a record haul of the drug meth, full name methamphetamine, disguised as cereals from Cameroon.
The drug was seized at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport and has a street value of about 3.8 million euros ($4.26 million).
French Customs said today that the meth weighed about 51 kg (112.44 lb), making it the biggest single seizure of the drug on French territory.
According to a customs statement, customs officers at the airport checking cartons containing bags of cereal en route from Cameroon to Malaysia on Tuesday night found them to be “unusually heavy”.
They found the crystalline drug, a strong stimulant, in 40 of 70 bags.
“The merchandise is estimated to be worth 3.8 million euros on the illegal retail market,” the statement said.
The meth crystals were shipped from Yaounde en route to Malaysia.
The French customs did not say if any arrests had been made.
Long popular in poorer Asian countries, especially among those who work long hours, methamphetamine now seems to be finding new markets in richer states such as South Korea and Singapore as well as Malaysia.
Drug networks are increasingly using West and Central Africa as a transit point for drugs from Latin America to Europe, the United States and Asia. They also use the region as production zone for meth because of weak controls on imports of meth ingredients. [nL4N0ZX4KS]
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says the highly addictive methamphetamine is increasingly popular in East and Southeast Asia.
One kilo of it costs around $1,500 to make in West Africa but sells for around $150,000 in Japan.
In 2015, French customs seized nearly 513 kg of amphetamines including 96.5 kilograms of methamphetamine.
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