Gambia court convicts 8 of cocaine trafficking

AP News
Posted: Oct 12, 2011 2:08 PM
Gambia court convicts 8 of cocaine trafficking

A court in the tiny African nation of Gambia has convicted eight foreigners of trafficking cocaine and sentenced them each to 50 years in prison.

Officials also announced Wednesday that a Dutch citizen who was charged in the case had died while incarcerated.

Four Venezuelans, two other Dutch nationals, one Nigerian and a Mexican citizen had pleaded not guilty to the charges. Their arrests led to the seizure of two tons of cocaine.

The fragile states along Africa's west coast have become major trafficking hubs for cocaine on its way from Latin American coca fields to the European market.

The coastline is dotted with small islands that are especially attractive to traffickers. Part of the two-ton haul was found on an island off Gambia's coast.