US State Department official William Brownfield said on a visit to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, that the United States efforts to halt the cocaine trade from Latin America has caused a rise in trafficking to Europe, as traffickers seek new routes for their wares.
“The cocaine traffickers are finding new destinations: first in their own Latin American markets, in Brazil and Argentina, and secondly, they are establishing new markets in Europe,” said William Brownfield.
This was in part due to the success of US efforts in halting the cocaine traffic to North America from the drugs’ main producing region in Latin America, he added.
The cocaine is delivered across the Atlantic to northern Africa before making its way to Europe.
Bulgaria was also slowly becoming a transit point on the cocaine trafficking route, Brownfield said, announcing that the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) would open an office in Sofia in April.
Bulgaria has been a key crossroads on the Balkan drug route from the Middle East to Western Europe but has seen little cocaine trade until now.