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Balkans: Drug smuggling to western Europe 'on rise'

last update: April 02, 17:21

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Podgorica, 2 April (AKI) - Drug trafficking through the Balkans into central and west Europe has been on the rise and the number of local people involved in drug smuggling was growing, Montenegro daily Vijesti said on Monday.

Quoting reports of international organizations, the paper said that Balkan route was most frequently used for smuggling drug from Afghanistan, North Africa, the Middle East and South America.

According to a US State Dept. report, there was evidence of ties, and occasional conflicts, between drug smuggling groups in Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, Russia, Croatia, Italy, Austria and Germany, and South America, the paper said.

The quantity of confiscated drugs in Montenegro was relatively small, in view of the large quantity of drugs smuggled through its territory, it added. About 80 per cent of heroin from Afghanistan is smuggled to west Europe through Balkan route, Vijesti said.

A report by the United Nations anti-drug agency said Europe was the second biggest cocaine market in with most of drug was coming from South America. It noted, however, that the shipments through Spain and Portugal wer declining, and most cocaine was smuggled to Europe through Adriatic and Black Sea ports.

From there, the drug is transported by land to various countries in central and west Europe, the paper said.

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