Justice Europe announced today that the number of cross-border drug trafficking cases reported to Justice Europe has almost doubled in four years, reaching 562 by 2020, partly due to a significant increase in synthetic drug production.
Eurojust said in a report released today that in the European Union alone, the value of drug smuggling is estimated at 30 billion euros per year.
The rapid growth in the production of synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and their sales on the dark web is the biggest challenge facing EU prosecutors.
Eurojust said in a statement: “By rapidly changing the chemical composition used in these drugs…or by creating new substances, manufacturers try to exploit loopholes in the law and avoid prosecution.”
According to the report, the total number of cross-border drug smuggling cases has almost doubled from 279 between 2016 and 2020, and has increased from 279 to 562. In nearly one-third of the cases, this is synthetic drugs and other new drugs.
Eurojust pointed out that manufacturers of new psychotropic substances generally do not work in outdated, organized drug smuggling networks and will sell and distribute them online.
Eurojust reports: “This phenomenon has increased due to the covida-19 pandemic, as organized criminal groups are using secure communication channels, encrypted phones, encrypted currencies and dark web markets are rapidly adapting to the Internet environment.
He added that drug users are also turning to the dark web, paying fees online and receiving drugs via email, which complicates prosecution.
The European Union Criminal Justice Cooperation Agency (Eurojust) helps member states of some European countries to cooperate in combating terrorism and serious organized crime.