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Handel mit Rauschgift nimmt zu - BKA-Vizepräsidentin Martina Link und Bundesdrogenbeauftragter Burkhard Blienert berichten zur Rauschgiftlage

In der Polizeilichen Kriminalstatistik (PKS) wurden im vergangenen Jahr rund 361.000 Rauschgiftdelikte registriert. Damit ging die Gesamtzahl der Delikte um 1,3 Prozent leicht zurück. Allerdings stieg die Zahl der Rauschgift-Handelsdelikte um 2,9 Prozent auf 55.941 Fälle. Das geht aus dem „Bundeslagebild Rauschgiftkriminalität 2021“ hervor, das heute vom Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) und dem Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Sucht und Drogenfragen vorgestellt wurde. (Bundeskriminalamt und Der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Sucht- und Drogenfragen, 10.11.2022)


EMCDDA. EMCDDA releases new findings on drug markets in the eastern and southern European Neighbourhood Policy regions

The emergence of new drug trafficking routes, the expansion of online markets, and the availability of a broader spectrum of substances, are among the findings highlighted in two new reports published today by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA). Released in the framework of the EU-funded EU4Monitoring Drugs project (EU4MD), the reports provide a picture of the drug market in the eastern and southern European Neighbourhood Policy regions (ENP-East and ENP-South). (EMCDDA, Lissabon 21.11.2022 (News release No 9/2022))


Afghanistan. Can the Taliban detox from Afghanistan's opium economy?

As the world continues to watch heartbreaking scenes from Kabul, many are bracing for the far-reaching ramifications of its fall.

The impact of the Taliban takeover on the global heroin trade is one such concern.

Resin from Afghanistan's opium fields is used to produce the majority of the world's heroin. Some analysts are already predicting that the Taliban will increase its control of Afghanistan's opium trade.

It may seem unlikely, however this could well be one of the few positive results arising from the Taliban's return to power. (ABC-News, 24.08.2021)


Ecuador. Headless bodies and deadly bombs: cartel violence escalates in Ecuador

On Tuesday, President Guillermo Lasso announced a curfew under a new state of emergency in Guayas and Esmeraldas regions. (The Guardian, UK, 02.11.2022)


Combating illicit fentanyl: Will increased Chinese regulation generate a public health crisis in India? 

Wang C, Lassi N. 

Front Public Health. 2022 Oct 14;10:969395. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.969395. PMID: 36311594; PMCID: PMC9614337.


Belgien. Why Belgium is now the cocaine capital of Europe (Video)

With record seizures of cocaine at Belgian ports, the country has become Europe’s cocaine-trafficking capital. As the flow of drugs increases, local authorities are struggling with corruption and violence. (The Economist, UK, 03.11.2022, Video, 14:44)


Mexiko. Methamphetamine Production in Mexico Is Toxic for the Environment

It is over 33 degrees Celsius, and a strong smell of dead animals pollutes the fresh air in the Western Sierra Madre mountain range. Two dead cows lying next to a river have been decomposing for a few days and are bloated with flies.

The cattle ranch they came from is only a couple of kilometers away, in a small, remote area between the states of Sinaloa and Durango. This region, known as the Golden Triangle, was for years home to much of Mexico's illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, used to make marijuana and heroin. Today, it is the epicenter of synthetic drug production in Mexico, and suffers from the resulting environmental damage. (InsightCrime, USA, 03.11.2022)


Afghanistan. Afghanistan opium cultivation in 2022 up by 32 per cent: UNODC survey 

Vienna, 1 November 2022 – The 2022 opium crop in Afghanistan is the most profitable in years with cultivation up by nearly one-third and prices soaring, even as the country is gripped by cascading humanitarian and economic crises, according to a new research brief from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Opium cultivation in Afghanistan – latest findings and emerging threats is the first report on the illicit opium economy since the Taliban, which assumed power in August 2021, banned cultivation of opium poppy and all narcotics in April 2022. This year’s harvest was largely exempted from the decree, and farmers in Afghanistan must now decide on planting opium poppy for next year amid continued uncertainty about how the de facto authorities will enforce the ban. Sowing of the main 2023 opium crop must be done by early November 2022.

“Afghan farmers are trapped in the illicit opiate economy, while seizure events around Afghanistan suggest that opiate trafficking continues unabated,” said UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly upon the survey’s launch. (UNODC, Wien/New York, 


Hacker Ethics: Learning Lessons from Darknet Marketplaces 

The rise of darknet marketplaces (DNMs) illustrates the systemic failings of drug war enforcement. From the perspective of the hackers behind this technology, they have, in the last decade, marked a new frontier in undermining prohibitionist efforts to restrict the availability of illegal drugs. To be clear, the unregulated free market model these websites represent has little to do with Transform’s vision of legal regulation. Nevertheless, darknet users have undeniably pioneered - deliberately or not - models of harm reduction, which may offer useful lessons as we plot the course into a post-prohibitionist world. (Transform UK, 30.08.2022)


Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s drug trade is booming under Taliban rule

Soon after taking power last August, the Taliban vowed to crack down on narcotics. Fast forward to April of this year, and they seemed to make good on that promise, issuing a decree that unequivocally banned the production and sale of illicit drugs.

Unfortunately, that decree has been inadequately enforced, and Afghanistan’s drug trade is booming under Taliban rule. (Atlantic Council, USA, 24.08.2022)


Afghanistan. The Taliban Vowed to End Afghanistan's Heroin Trade. What Happened Next?

A year on from the Taliban’s takeover, VICE World News looks at what impact the regime has had on global drug supply. (VICE, UK, 10.08.2022)


Europa. Portholes - Exploring the maritime Balkan routes

Despite the prevalence of trade over land, South Eastern Europe (SEE) also contains more than a hundred ports and 12 container terminals, which are important entry and exit points for trade in the Adriatic, Aegean, Black and Ionian Seas, as well as along the Danube. (Global Initiative against transnational organized Crime


Peru. Secret Operations: The Peruvian Charged with Laundering Massive Amounts of Drug Money

For decades, Carlos Sein Atachahua allegedly led a global money laundering empire. Police say his gang’s drugs, sent with logos depicting ancient Peruvian symbols, reached Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta and other criminal groups, while corrupted money-exchange houses around the world were allegedly used to launder profits. (OCCRP - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 06.07.2022)


‘The PCC are after me’: the drug cartel with Paraguay in its clutches

A Brazilian former prison gang is threatening to turn its neighbour into a narcostate and its deadly tentacles extend much further.UK, 23.06.2022)


Green Energy Complicates the Taliban’s New Battle Against Opium

The multibillion-dollar trade has survived previous bans. Now, the Taliban are going after solar-powered water pumps to try to dry up poppy crops in the middle of a national economic crisis. (New York Times, 29.05.2022)


Afghanistan. When the Water Runs Dry: What is to be done with the 1.5 million settlers in the deserts of southwest Afghanistan when their livelihoods fail?

In the last 5 years 48,000 new houses were built in the barren deserts of southwest Afghanistan. This population of almost half a million people migrated to this inhospitable terrain despite the expense and back breaking work involved in setting up home:  clearing and levelling the land for farming; building a house from the dry desert soil; and most importantly, digging a deep well to tap the groundwater beneath and bring the desert to life. In moving to the deserts of Helmand, Nimroz and Farah, these new arrivals joined an existing population of around 1 million people who since 2003 had made this same painstaking journey, the vast majority of whom settled after 2008, seven years after the Taliban regime had fallen. (David Mansfield, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) Shahr-i-Naw, Kabul, Afghanistan, 23.05.2022)


Ekuador. Ecuador prison riot leaves 43 dead in latest bloody episode 

Sixth deadly prison massacre in country fueled by rival drug gangs since the beginning of 2021, bringing death toll to nearly 400. (The Guardian, UK, 09.05.2022)


Irland/Dubai. How a Tweet Led to the Downfall of a $1 Billion Drug Cartel

The Kinahans are accused of running a murderous criminal gang comparable to the Camorra in Italy or Los Zetas in Mexico. As the law catches up with them, it appears their ties to big-match boxing could be their undoing. (VICE, UK, 19.05.2022)


EMCDDA/Europol. Cocaine: increasingly attractive for a wider range of criminal networks

A large variety of individuals, many of them designated as high-value targets, groups and networks shape the complex supply of cocaine to the EU. Criminal networks involved in cocaine trafficking are highly resilient, with some operating across several continents. For example, some locations in the Middle East, such as the United Arab Emirates, have emerged as a safe haven for top-level organisers of cocaine trafficking to the EU. Further, criminal networks originating from the EU or the EU’s neighbourhood have also become established in key locations in South America, or maintain direct contacts with suppliers. Trusted members of the criminal networks are sent to arrange and supervise these shipments. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, 06.05.2022)


Mexiko/USA. Drug smuggling tunnel with rail system uncovered on US-Mexico border

The ventilated underground passage runs the length of six football fields and also contains reinforced walls and electricity supply. (The Guardian, UK, 17.05.2022)


EMCDDA. Europas Rolle auf dem internationalen Drogenmarkt wächst

Brüssel – Europa spielt eine wachsende Rolle beim internationalen Drogenhandel, insbesondere mit Kokain und Methamphetamin. Dabei schaffe die Zusammenarbeit zwischen kriminellen Gruppen weltweit neue Sicherheitsbedrohungen und erweitere den Markt, heißt es in einem heute veröffentlichten Bericht der EU-Drogenbeobachtungsstelle (EMCDDA) und der Polizeibehörde Europol. (aerzteblatt.de, 06.05.2022)


Variability in the unregulated opioid market in the context of extreme rates of overdose. 

Larnder A, Saatchi A, Borden SA, Moa B, Gill CG, Wallace B, Hore D. 

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2022 Mar 26;235:109427. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109427. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35405459.


Afghanistan. The Taliban Announces a Ban on Opium. Really? [FEATURE]

On April 3, the Taliban announced a ban on drug cultivation in Afghanistan, for years the world's dominant opium producer, accounting for more than 80 percent of the global supply of the substance, from which heroin is derived, throughout this century. But the ban announcement raised as many questions as it answered and has been met with a degree of skepticism, not only around the motives of the Taliban but also because opium plays such a key role in an Afghan economy that is now in especially dire straits. (stopthedrugwar.org, USA, Issue 115, 15.04.2022)


Afghanistan. The drug trade now flourishing in Afghanistan: Meth

Many opium exporters are now moving meth, using existing infrastructure, routes and bribery schemes to reach neighbouring countries. (The Independent, UK, 06.05.2022)


EMCDDA. EU Drug Markets: In-depth analysis

Illicit drugs are big business. They are one of the main profit-generating activities of organised crime and are estimated to represent around one-fifth of global crime proceeds. 'EU Drug Markets: In-depth analysis' is the fourth comprehensive overview of illicit drug markets in the EU by the EMCDDA and Europol and takes a broad view of these markets from production and trafficking, to distribution and use. Designed as a series of modules, each focuses on the market for a particular drug. (EMCDDA, Lissabon / Europol, Den Haag, 06.05.2022)


Indien. Inside India's insidious drug network

THE WEEK takes you inside the world of opium farmers, peddlers and drug-busters. (The Week, Indien, 17.04.2022)


Kolumbien. Deep in Colombia, Rebels and Soldiers Fight for the Same Prize: Drugs

The country signed a historic peace deal more than five years ago. But a power vacuum is fueling the rise of new armed groups competing to control the drug trade. (New York Times, USA, 20.04.2022)


Afghanistan. Taliban verbieten den Opiumanbau 

Opiumanbau war lange die Haupteinnahmequelle der Taliban. Nun wollen sie ihn unter Strafe stellen. Das Regime erhofft sich dadurch internationale Anerkennung - die Not vieler Bauern dürfte aber wachsen. (tagesschau.de, 18.04.2022)


BKA. Illegaler Darknet-Marktplatz „Hydra Market“ abgeschaltet

Server des weltweit größten Darknet-Marktplatzes beschlagnahmt und 543 Bitcoins im Gesamtwert von rund 23 Millionen Euro sichergestellt. (Bundeskriminalamt, 05.04.2022)


Syrien/Libanon. Lebanon’s role in Syria’s Captagon trade

Syria's degree of involvement in the synthetic drug trade is the highest in the world, but the influence of neighbouring Lebanon should not be underestimated. 

As the conflict in Syria has rolled on over the past decade, the country’s involvement in the synthetic drug trade has grown, and the country ranks highest for the market in the Global Organized Crime Index 2021. In particular, Syria plays a central role in the global trade in Captagon, an illegal and highly addictive amphetamine. (Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, Genf, 25.03.2022)