In Northern Mali, a cigarette smuggler is paid $200 (100,000- CFA Francs) for a single trip transporting tobacco across the Sahara Desert. If the same smuggler is transporting cocaine, then the smuggler would be paid $2,000.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that up to 18 tonnes of cocaine is smuggled through West Africa on its way to Europe. The cocaine has a street value of $1.25 Billion.
Source: Afua Hirsch, “Cocaine flows through Sahara as al-Qaida cashes in on lawlessness,” Guardian, May 2, 2013.