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Senegal: Penalties Increased for Drug Crimes

(Feb. 2, 2008) Under a new law adopted by Senegal's legislature, the punishment for drug trafficking will be increased to 10 to 20 years of hard labor, double the previous punishment. The law now must be promulgated by President Abdoulay Wade before it comes into force. The country, together with its neighbors in West Africa, has become a transit route for cocaine coming from Latin America into Europe. According to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, about 27 percent of the cocaine that reaches Europe has traveled through West Africa. Speaking about the necessity for revising the law, Abdou Latif Gueye, the parliamentarian who drafted the bill, said, "[t]he former drug law was outdated and inappropriate. … This law sends a strong signal to dissuade narco-traffickers from using our sub-region as an easy transit point." (Senegal: Stiffer Penalties for Drug Traffickers, IRIN, Jan. 16, 2009, available at http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=75953.)