Annual Report of the Central Directorate of Drug Services: Cocaine seizures are on the rise

Presented today, by Central Directorate of Drug Servicesthe Annual report 2022 of the activities and results obtained in the fight against drug trafficking in the face of the United Nations World Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to be held on 26 June.

The Deputy Chief of Police – Central Director of the Criminal Police Vittorio Rizzi, the Central Director of Drug Services Antonio Maggiore and three Security experts used in remotely connected strategic areas for drug routes (Colombia, Argentina, Turkey).

Prefect Rizzi stressed that “La metamorphosis of national and international criminal organizations, determined by globalization and digitalization, it requires a strengthening of international police cooperation and investigations into the encrypted platforms on which criminal communications travel.

The attention of police forces around the world should be focused on the areas where they come out drug trafficking routes such as the Triple Border in South America, on the border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay where the most dangerous criminal cartels in the world operate together. Only by cooperating will it be possible to dismantle the networks of drug lords ”.

Although 2021 has continued to be affected by the effects of the global Covid-19 health crisis, the great adaptability of criminal organizations it soon identified alternative tools and mechanisms, succeeding in reactivating its illicit trafficking and pouring into consumer markets quantities of drugs comparable to the periods before the pandemic.

equally the police response did not stop: the number of anti-drug operations, coordinated and supported by the DCSA, is substantially in line with the average of the last decade (about 23 thousand), as well as the number of complaints (more than 30 thousand).

On the other hand, there has been an increase in drug seizures over the previous year: of the 59 tonnes found in 2020, it rose to 91 tonnes in 2021, which, due to a significant increase in seizures of cocaine and cannabis products, represents the fourth highest result since 2000.

Also this year, the most macroscopic result is the new record in cocaine seizuresreaching the quota of 20.07 tons.

There strong growth in drug seizures it also refers to cannabis, both in terms of hashish (+ 113%) and marijuana (+ 135%), which remains the most seized drug in Italy: 67.7 tons in total, more than two thirds of all the drugs seized by the police forces..

EL seizures of heroin, amounting to 567.52 kilos they increase slightly while there is a drastic decrease in the seizures of synthetic drugs (-99.03%), although the result is affected by the extraordinary discovery in 2020, in the port of Salerno, of 14 tons of amphetamines.

A worrying figure is the significant increase in seizures of liquid substances: 90 liters of GBL and almost 6 liters of GHB, two potent and dangerous dissociative sedatives, also used as rape drugs, when administered to unconscious victims.

At the level of international relations it was strengthened collaborative activity in the fight against drug trafficking, with a push for new bilateral technical agreements, aimed at promoting and facilitating joint research initiatives and, above all, special operations. In this context, the network of security experts has a strategic role to play, working on behalf of Italy abroad, providing crucial information support to national anti-drug operations.

Another significant figure for 2021 is represented by 32 new psychoactive substances intercepted by police forces, 5 of whom had never been identified before in Italy.

Regarding the guidelines for drug imports, P.makes the hypothesis of a “New Mediterranean Route” increasingly coherent, whereby South American cocaine passes through national ports (especially Gioia Tauro) on its way to ports in the Balkans under the control of fierce Albanian and Serb-Montenegrin criminal organizations.

Upon receiving the Annual Report, the Police Chief Lamberto Giannini, stressed that “the Central Directorate of Anti-Drug Services represents a strategic articulation of the Department of Public Security and one of the most lasting and successful expressions of collaboration between forces. The data in the 2022 Report attest to the forcefulness, coherence and effectiveness of the police action of the National Police Forces “

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese also wanted to send a message on the occasion of the presentation of the report: “The operations carried out in 2021 show the research effort in the national territory and at the international level that allowed, among others, the seizure of more than 20 tons of cocainean unprecedented result that rewards the professionalism and dedication of all staff ”.

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