Newsbriefing – Week of 27 January


The Director of the EMCDDA presented the EU Drugs market report 2019 to the Committee on Civil liberties, Justice and Home Affairs at the European Parliament in Brussels. The director put emphasis on the fact it is a wake-up call for policymakers looking at the worrying trends of the illicit market which is fast growing, well connected both globally and locally and digitally enabled.

Operation Gloria, led by Portuguese authorities in cooperation with the DEA, the NCA, French and Spanish law enforcement and MAOC(N), identified a fishing vessel travelling within Portuguese waters. The boarding of the vessel was made difficult due to stormy sea conditions however the boat was conveyed to Alfeite harbour where, following an inspection, the authorities discovered 1.8 tonnes of cocaine on board. The crew were arrested.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) gathered together in Geneva on 3-4 February at the first ever Illicit Trade Forum to share expertise, promote international enforcement cooperation, coordinate resources and ensure countries are adequately equipped to mitigate illicit trade that drains nearly 3% of the world’s economy.

The five most powerful gangs in Latin America, according to an article published by Insight Crime are: the National Liberation Army (ELN), the First Capital Command (PCC), the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, the New Generation Jalisco Cartel in Mexico and the Ex-FARC Mafia (formed of FARC dissidents).

Spanish police have dismantled a criminal gang who made millions of pounds selling a performance-enhancing drug to athletes competing at national and international levels across Europe. 850 doses of EPO were seized during the investigation.

Two members of German Parliament are suspected of being involved in the  bribery of public officials.

INTERPOL has joined forces with the Italian government to disrupt the activities of the Calabria-based mafia-type organised crime group the ‘Ndrangheta’.The I-CAN project will focus on dismantling criminal activity associated with the clan which has a fearsome reputation for being the most extensive and powerful global criminal network.