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Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
Home » Security » Cocaine seizures in Europe double in 2017 to 140 tonnes

Cocaine seizures in Europe double in 2017 to 140 tonnes

Cocaine enters Europe through numerous routes and means, but the growth in large-volume trafficking, using maritime shipping containers, stands out as a major challenge.

Recent evidence suggests that cocaine use is rising in the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands. An estimated 2.6 million people aged between 15 and 34 used cocaine in 2017 in all of the EU.

Cocaine has made a dramatic comeback in Europe since the financial crisis when its high price dented consumption. Growing production supply, more smuggling gangs and higher incomes are now fuelling a revival.

The EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) agency said in its yearly report on the European drug situation that cocaine seizures jumped in 2017 – the last year with available data – from 71 tonnes a year earlier. The previous peak was reached in 2006 with 120 tonnes seized.

The surge in supply of cocaine in Europe left the price of the drug stable, but its purity was the highest in a decade.

Cocaine enters Europe through numerous routes and means, but the growth in large-volume trafficking, using maritime shipping containers, stands out as a major challenge.

The highest seizures were in Belgium with 45 tonnes, where smugglers ship cocaine through Antwerp, one of Europe’s biggest ports. Spain was second with 41 tonnes, followed by France and the Netherlands.

The amount of cocaine seized by authorities in Europe doubled in 2017 to reach a record 140 tonnes in a strong indication of soaring mass supply of the drug coming from Latin America, a Lisbon-based EU drugs agency said 

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