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Saturday 01.10.2016 | Name days: Lāsma, Zanda, Zandis

Europeans spend at least EUR 24 billion on narcotics every year

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European residents spend at least EUR 24 billion on illegal narcotics every year. This makes illegal drug trade one of the main sources of profit for organized crime groups in Europe, as noted in this year’s report on the European narcotics market published by European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and Europol.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThis report provides details on the current state of the illegal narcotics market in Europe, including information about observed trends across the market supply network – from production and contraband to trade, distribution and consumption. Europol and EMCDDA also analyse the costs this illegal market causes for society, including the effect on companies, state institutions, populated areas, families, people and the environment.

Having read through conclusions of this report, European Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said criminals engaged in illegal narcotics trade use international flow of transports, goods and people for their own means.

He added that criminals also use modern technologies, Internet, growth of international trade and commercial infrastructure to carry out their criminal activities on an international scale. In addition, instability in Europe’s neighbor regions may affect the narcotics market in Europe.

Europol Director Rob Wainwright points to the fact that production of illegal narcotics and their contraband remains one of the largest and creative criminal markets in Europe. This market is gradually becoming more and more closely tied to other forms of criminal activities, including terrorism. Because of that, it remains one of the main threats to Europe’s internal security. In order to reduce its influence and scale, it is necessary to establish close cross-border cooperation of law enforcement institutions. This can be done by using Europol’s and other EU instruments, he said.

Among other things, this report also details the fact that traditional contraband routes are still being used. On top of that, criminals continue expanding them. Criminals no longer use specific routes for specific products. They do still use legal transport and logistical infrastructure – large containers carried by sea allow organized crime groups to transport large shipments of narcotics. Recent developments on the Internet market, including darknet, offer criminals new ways of supplying narcotics online.

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