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The Kingdom of Cocaine Kings The King is dead. Long live the king. The traditional welcome for the new monarch comes as a natur...

The Kingdom of Cocaine Kings

06.06.2012

The King is dead. Long live the king.

The traditional welcome for the new monarch comes as a natural association after the arrest of the "cocaine king", Evelyn Banev. On May 16, the former wrestler and successful businessman, also known as Brendo, was arrested on the road from Bourgas to Sozopol. General Giampaolo Ganzer, commander of the unit karabinieri to fight organized crime, labeled him as a major supplier of drugs for the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia. Media quoted the fantastic 40 tons of cocaine. Despite the efforts of the defense (attorneys Ina Lulcheva and Daniela Dokovska), Banev remained in custody on an old case of money laundering. While the "King" is in detention, the fate of his kingdom remains uncertain.

Cocaine (benzoylmethylecgonine) is a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system by increasing the levels of dopamine - a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and movement. The effects of euphoria and addiction related to cocaine use (by injection, inhalation or sniffing) ensure its success on the black markets. The volume of trade is estimated at 85 billion dollars per year.

World Drug Report of the United Nations for 2011 states that in 2010 the basic raw material, coca, was grown on 150,000 hectares. Nearly 20 million of the world population abuse this drug. Slightly over half a million people in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe compared to four and a half million in the western part of the continent consume cocaine. Americas however hold the largest market share among cocaine users. Expert assessments are hesitant towards the increased use. While in the United States the trend is declining, cocaine in Europe has doubled its presence. Particularly expressive are the graphs for Italy and Spain, indicated by the recent arrests as the main targets of the Bulgarian traffickers.

The UN document presents other interesting facts: the captured drugs in Europe are "made in Columbia". This strong Colombian connection is not accidental: the country remains the largest producer of both fresh leaves and pure substance. Statistics speak about the scale of business, Evelyn Banev is suspected to have organized: a volume of 40 metric tons per year comapred to the total production in Bolivia in 2008 amounting to 113 tons, with Colombia leading the chart in 2010 with 400 tons.

All signs point that the kingdom is too tempting to stay for long without a monarch.

Read more:

Trud Daily

National Institute on Drug Abuse

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