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Nigerien forces have intercepted a large shipment of around three tons of marijuana, according to the nation’s defense ministry late on Monday. According to the report, the marijuana shipment was being transported across the West African nation by a small group of heavily armed smugglers in the northern Nigerien mountains.
The capture took place on Sunday in the Air Mountains. This is an area traveled by criminal gangs, some with ties to ISIS, to smuggle arms, migrants, and drugs into the northern African regions and then to Europe. In a statement released by the ministry of defense, 10 people were arrested during the seizure. In addition, three vehicles, and a plethora of small arms and ammunition were confiscated during the operation.
Although Nigerien forces worked with a partner country in the joint operation, the statement released by the ministry did not name the country. Considering French troops are deployed in the area, there could be speculation that French intelligence could have helped with the operation.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Doskey – Flickr License