Fighting drug trafficking is inadequate, according to figures from the EU’s annual drug report: in Europe, more and more places are getting better and more available. At the same time, increasing competition between criminal organizations brings more corruption and violence.
The European Drugs Market Report 2019 (pdf) has been prepared by the EMCDDA and Europol.
One of the main problems is that the production of cocaine and heroin in South America and Afghanistan has never been so large. Due to the large supply, drugs are also entering the European markets in ever-increasing quantities and faster. Criminals do not want to maintain stocks because this is expensive and risky.
Weed and synthetic drugs mostly come from the Netherlands and travel all over the world. The report also mentions the discovery of three large-scale laboratories for the production of methamphetamine (crystal meth) in the Netherlands and Belgium earlier this year, and finds that a worrying sign on the wall.
China is also mentioned, as a producer of raw materials for drugs, such as ephedrine, BMK and PMK. At the same time, China’s chemical and pharmaceutical industry is an exporter of “new” drugs and also of drugs sold illegally, such as extremely strong opiates.
The EU estimates the street value of drugs trafficked by organized crime to be at least EUR 30 billion a year and around 2,000 organized criminal groups in Europe are engaged in drugs.
The agencies advise investing more in police capacity in EU countries and also in combating drugs with European organizations.