Why do people trade drugs

Narcotics crime in Germany continues to increase

Whether cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, new psychoactive substances (NPS) or cannabis: all types of drugs are traded in Germany - and the trend is rising. For nine years now, the number of drug offenses registered by the police has been increasing continuously. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) published the “Federal Situation Report on Drug Criminality 2019” published today, with 359,747 offenses, an increase of around 2.6 percent compared to the previous year (2018: 350,662).

This development can mainly be attributed to an increase in general violations of the Narcotics Act. With 20,107 cases (2018: 17,920; + 12.2%), by far the largest increase in cocaine-related offenses was registered.

According to the BKA, the number of offenses indicates a persistently high demand for narcotics in Germany. The seizure figures, but also the increase in production capacities, allow conclusions to be drawn about the very high availability of a wide variety of drugs. In 2019, a total of 31 illegal laboratories for the production of synthetic drugs were identified and dug up - this corresponds to an increase of around 63 percent (2018: 19 laboratories).

The smuggling of imports by sea is still lucrative for the perpetrators. This is shown by several seizures of large amounts of cocaine, for example on July 15, 2019, when customs in the port of Hamburg, on the occasion of the routine inspection of a freight container from South America, with a total of 4.5 tons of cocaine, was able to seize the largest single amount of this narcotic in Germany to date.

The trade in narcotics on the Internet has established itself as a permanent sales channel around the world. The supposed anonymity on the Internet attracts many consumers, but also new dealer structures, since no personal contact has to be made with the dealers when purchasing narcotics.

Successful investigations, such as that of the BKA against the operators of the online platform “Chemical Revolution”, show that the Internet is not an unlawful area. The secured data also shows the buoyant trade that buyers and consumers operate via digital platforms, especially in the Darknet.

New psychoactive substances are also sold almost exclusively online. In 2019, 458 trafficking offenses were registered in connection with NPS, around 56 percent more than in the previous year (2018: 293 offenses). Both the production and the trade of NPS are increasingly organized professionally in company-like structures, with the profits being laundered across national borders by means of bogus and legal companies.

The criminal prosecution of the internationally organized drug trafficking remains an essential task of the responsible German and European authorities, in particular the police and customs. In addition, prevention, treatment and harm reduction are important components of German drug and addiction policy in order to prevent addiction problems and improve the situation of addicts. There are extensive prevention offers at federal level for both illegal and legal substances such as tobacco and alcohol.

Holger Münch, President of the Federal Criminal Police Office: “The prosecution of drug-related crime is and will remain a central issue in the fight against crime. Despite the high level of anonymity on the Internet, it is also possible for law enforcement authorities to identify suspects and investigate illegal trade routes and criminal offenses. Because the internet is not a legal vacuum. The drug crime and the illegal drug trafficking cause high damage both for the individual, as well as for the general public. Our goal is to crush criminal drug trafficking groups on a national and international level. To this end, cross-border and international cooperation between the police and law enforcement authorities is of essential importance. "

The Drug Commissioner of the Federal Government, Daniela Ludwig: “The numbers have been increasing for years, that's unacceptable! Our common goal is therefore clear: international and national drug trafficking must continue to be pushed back in the future. Drug crime is no trivial matter, it creates immeasurable suffering, brutal violence and is the basis for many other offenses of organized crime. Just as criminals are working more and more professional and networked, the responsible law enforcement authorities in Germany, in the European Union and in global cooperation must coordinate and cooperate intensively - analogue as well as digitally. This necessarily includes sufficient financial, technical and personnel resources and, furthermore, comprehensive, effective prevention. Where there is no demand, there is no supply! "

Additional figures and information can be found on the website of the BKA at www.bka.de and on the website of the drug commissioner of the federal government at www.drogenbeauftragte.de.