Weapons seized by Cape Verde's judicial police during their raid on targets involved in the Flying Boat case are seen on display in Praia, Cape Verde. REUTERS
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When Cape Verde police dismantled a drugs network preparing to smuggle tens of millions of dollars of cocaine to Europe in 2011, the operation was hailed as a rare victory against international crime by one of Africa's smallest states.Soon after that, however, senior officials began receiving threats.A cluster of 10 volcanic islands 570 kilometers off Senegal, Cape Verde stands out both as a pocket of relative stability in West Africa and for its firm action against the networks channeling Latin American cocaine to Europe.Cape Verde has suffered no coups or civil conflict in the four decades since independence, despite its scant resources and punishing drought cycles.In the past decade, however, Cape Verde has turned its Judicial Police into one of West Africa's strongest organized crime squads.Last November, authorities seized another 500 kilograms of cocaine in an operation that led to the jailing of six people including Swiss, Spanish and Cuban nationals.
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