Pandemic triggered an increase in the number of drug crimes in Europe

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The coronavirus has sparked a spike in drug-related crime in Europe. As Izvestia was told at the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), an increase in the supply of hard drugs to Europe was recorded in 2020 compared to 2019. According to the ministry, the blocking of countries could not affect the drug market, but only pushed the criminals to develop new methods of trade and transportation.

“Due to the closure of the borders, it has become problematic to use the land routes for drug trafficking, which are usually used to deliver goods to Europe. This forced the criminals to switch to sea routes, ”Tiberiu Stoyan, a research analyst at EMCDDA, said in an interview with Izvestia.

He noted that in the second half of 2020, the largest shipments of heavy drugs in the past few years were intercepted in a number of European seaports. In the port of Antwerp alone, over six weeks from February 20, 2021, Belgian police seized 27.64 tons of cocaine.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Construction and Homeland of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMI) told Izvestia that in 2020 the number of crimes related to drug trafficking increased by 1.7% compared to 2019 – to 365,753 offenses. The department noted that the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Bremerhaven remained during the pandemic as the main ferries for dangerous parcels from Latin America.

Read more in the exclusive material from Izvestia:

Opium and Peoples: COVID has developed new drug trafficking schemes in the European Union