Monday, November 19, 2012

Albanian gangs smuggle heroin, Serb ones cocaine

BRUSSELS - Organized criminal gangs from Kosovo have dominance in the trafficking of Turkish heroin to the EU across the Balkans, while Serb criminals increasingly appear as major cocaine smugglers, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) noted in its annnual report that was published on Thursday.

The territory of Serbia is still being used for the transit of smuggled heroin from Turkey to western Europe, reads the section of the EMCDDA report that refers to Serbia, based on the data obtained from European police services and intelligence agencies. According to police data, the main actors in this illegal trade are: organised criminal groups from the area of Kosovo and Metohija, organised criminal groups of Albanians from western Macedonia, the area of Presevo and Bujanovac (southern Serbia) and the area of Rozaje in Montenegro, notes the report. According to information of the Serbian Interior Ministry and European police services, the territory of Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244/99) is being used for storage of large quantities of heroin which is to be smuggled to west European countries via Albania (Durres harbour), Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EMCDDA claims. 

 The organised drug crime groups of Serbian origin are also becoming more prominent in the trans-continental cocaine smuggling market from South America to west European harbours, the European experts noted. The report reads that these organised criminal groups have their facilitators in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela where they purchase cocaine at significantly lower prices (approximately USD 5,000-6,000 per kilo), and then transport it by transatlantic cargo ships to major west European harbours such as Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg. Upon arrival in the EU, the price of cocaine is almost 10 times higher, and reaches EUR 50,000 per kilo.

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