Start News 30 billion euros: Europe’s drug market finances terror

30 billion euros: Europe’s drug market finances terror

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Europe’s drug market currently accounts for around 30 billion euros annually. Worldwide in 2014, there were between 426 and 652 billion US dollars. This is clear from the EU Drugs Market Report 2019 from the European Drug Monitoring Center (EMCDDA) and Europol. The consequences of organized crime and the drug market as a financial instrument for terrorists are huge.

Most important source of funding for terror

The report was presented today in Brussels. The involvement of organized crime, and ultimately terrorist groups, poses a danger that (politically) goes far beyond the importance of health risks for drug users themselves. EMCDDA and Europol list here: Terrorism, trafficking and smuggling, gang crime and murder series, money laundering and corruption are promoted or financed by the drug market.

A study from 2018 cited in the report lists drug incomes of around 300 million euros a year for the most well-known terrorist groups in Africa (Boko Haram / al-Shababab etc.), Colombia (FARC) and Arab countries (IS etc.) ( 28 percent of all income). The second source of funding will be oil and gas (€ 207 million). Many terrorist attackers in Europe had also been drug dealers. In detention for such crimes, some of them would have radicalized.

Cannabis before cocaine

For the drug report, EMCDDA and Europol have been regularly contributing their data for several years. The most important information from Europe: Of the total market for illicit drugs (€ 30 billion / retail price), 39% are cannabis (€ 11.6 billion), 31% cocaine (€ 9.1 billion) and 25% heroin (7.4 billion euros). Amphetamine (3 percent / € 1 billion) and ecstasy / MDMA (2 percent / € 500 million) are „below the scores“.

Fentanyl from Russia and China

Highly effective (synthetic) opioids „represent an increasing health risk,“ it says in the report. While in Europe Fentanyl painkillers from medicine – unlike in the US, which fight against an opioid crisis – hardly cause any problems because of the strict prescriptive rules, Fentanyle from Russia and above all from China have emerged regionally, especially in the Baltic States and in Scandinavia. The Darknet and online platforms play an important role here.