Peru set to become world's top cocaine producer

An anti-narcotics worker carries a bag containing cocaine in front of an incinerator in Lima in December last year. Credit: Reuters/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

Peru is set to become the world's top cocaine producer this year, according to the United Nations.

The amount of coca crops cultivated went up nearly 13% from 2009 to 2011, whilst crop cultivation in Columbia and Bolivia has declined by 25% and 12% respectively.

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Peru drug suspects face 18 years

Peruvian prosecutors have warned that a British and an Irish woman charged with trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5 million out of the country could face up to 18 years in jail if they are convicted.