Report on the COVID-19 Impact on EU Drug Markets Published
In late May 2020, Europol and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) published a joint report looking at the impact of COVID-19 on drug markets in the EU.
In its key findings, the report underlines the resilience of organised crime groups and their capabilities to adapt their modi operandi to current situations. According to the report, the surface web and darknet markets, social media and secure encrypted communication applications now appear to be playing an increasing role in the sourcing of drugs at the user level.
Shortages with the availability of cannabis, cocaine, and heroin in some areas have resulted in higher prices and the use of substitutes such as synthetic opioids. Cocaine trafficking using maritime shipping containers has continued at levels that are comparable to or even possibly higher than those seen in 2019. Overall, the movement of bulk quantities of drugs between EU Member States has continued despite the introduction of border controls due to the continued commercial transportation of goods throughout the EU.