Celebrity cocaine- users Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss, have been accused, by a top drug enforcement official, of glamorising global drug trade. He claims that the trend now threatens to devastate parts of Africa.
Winehouse and Moss were pinpointed by Antonio Maria Costa, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, as he warned that Britain faced a huge threat from Colombian cocaine barons, who have recently carved out new transit routes to Europe via Africa's west coast.
Costa said that the growing trade posed a severe threat to youngsters in Britain, where cocaine use has doubled among 16- to 24-year-olds in the past 10 years.
He said that some impoverished West African nations, where weak and corrupt governments were now uniquely vulnerable to the corrosive influence of drug money, were also at higher risk.
He also said that although celebrities were often the first to promote campaigns to fight African poverty or the trade in so-called "blood diamonds", the two celebrities showed no such concern about the cocaine trade.
"Europeans now understand that they should not buy blood diamonds, or clothes made by slaves working in sweatshops. Yet with cocaine, the opposite occurs," the Telegraph quoted Costa, as telling in a drug conference in Madrid last week.
"Look at Kate Moss who still receives lucrative contracts after she was photographed sniffing. Rock stars, like Amy Winehouse, become popular by singing 'I ain't going to rehab' [the Winehouse song, Rehab] even though she badly needed, and eventually sought, treatment.
"A sniff here and a sniff there in Europe are causing another disaster in Africa, to add to its poverty, its mass unemployment and its pandemics," he added.
According to statistics released last month by the British Crime Survey, six per cent of 16-24 year-olds have admitted consuming the class A drug, helping make Britain Europe's biggest cocaine consumer alongside Spain.
Costa said he that he is expecting to make cocaine as "socially unacceptable" as heroin.
"Nobody makes movies about 'blood coke'. But models and socialites who wouldn't dare to wear a tiger fur coat, show no qualms about flaunting their cocaine use in public," he said. (ANI)