Cocaine Trafficking to Europe

"In contrast to North America, where prevalence of cocaine use and cocaine seizures have fallen in parallel, the stability of the prevalence of cocaine use in Western and Central Europe has not coincided with stable seizure levels, as the seizure levels have fallen by some 50 per cent since 2006. A report of the European Police Office (Europol) on maritime seizures of cocaine suggests that a change in trafficking modes could have contributed to this apparent mismatch.82 While overall seizures have decreased, the amount of cocaine seized in containers has actually increased in countries covered by the study, such as Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Seizures of cocaine found on vessels (but not inside containers) have decreased over the same period, implying that traffickers are increasingly making use of containers on the European route by taking advantage of the large volume of container shipments between South America and Europe.83 Semi-submersible boats, which are known to be used on the Pacific route, do not yet play a role in transatlantic trafficking.84 Meanwhile, the West African route, which became more and more popular up until 2007, has since become less important."


UNODC, World Drug Report 2012 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.12.XI.1), p. 38.