Albania is main source of cannabis trafficked to EU, says Europol
TIRANA, March.15 – Europol said this week Albania remains the main source of outdoor plant cannabis trafficked to the EU.
Grown in Albania, the cannabis is then shipped all over the European Union, with the Netherlands and Czechia, serving as secondary trafficking hubs.
Cannabis cultivation has reached unprecedented industrial scale levels in Albania in the past couple of years with hundred of tonnes of plants thought to have been produced.
In its latest report, the EU’s law enforcement agency notes that the indoor cultivation of cannabis in the European Union is expected to further expand over the coming years with new growing techniques and increasingly sophisticated growing technologies being used by organized crime.
According to the report, cannabis has been increasingly popular with consumers in recent years, and this has led to an increase in the production and availability of herbal cannabis within the EU and in countries close to EU markets.
Europol is carrying out the largest data collection on serious and organised crime ever undertaken in the EU. Fighting cybercrime, the production, trafficking and distribution of illicit drugs, migrant smuggling, organized property crime, and the trafficking in human beings are key priorities of EU countries in their fight against crime.
Europol has been able to identify at least 5,000 organized crime groups of more than 180 nationalities operating and under investigation in the EU. About 45 percent of these groups are involved in more than one criminal activity.
“For almost all types of organized crime, criminals are deploying and adapting technology with ever greater skill and to ever greater effect. This is now, perhaps, the greatest challenge facing law enforcement authorities around the world, including in the EU,” the report concluded.