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Cocaine and Meth in Europe

Reports released by the EMCDDA on the cocaine and meth markets in Europe 2016 reveal the following: the 2013 estimated value of the EU cocaine market is 5.7 billion Euro with an estimated size of 91 metric tonnes. Consumption is estimated at 5.1% of the EU population and in 2014 61.6 metric tonnes were seized. In 2014 the mean retail price was 46-91 Euro per gram and mean purity was 26%-64%. In the 2015 report on waste water analysis and illicit drugs the cocaine belt spanned the cities of Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK which means the cities of the East and Southern EU are untapped. Given the quantum of product seized the volume of cocaine entering the EU drug markets is much higher than the estimated 91 tonnes and this is the tsunami of cocaine unleashed on EU markets by the Mexican traffickers from multiple trafficking points to the EU. The major problem is the retail price of the product linked to the quality of the product bought as the prices are high for low quality product that has been stepped on until it gives no bang for the Euro. Secondly the market is not expanding at a sustainable rate thereby ensuring sunrise markets are constantly brought online stimulated by the availability of affordable quality product. The Mexican traffickers and their affiliates as the Ndrangheta are then working assiduously to create a new order on the ground to ensure these operational deficiencies are rectified resulting in an explosion of cocaine use. The required volume of product to create new demand and new markets is in place the final brick in the wall is the new order on the ground that is being erected via a slate of affiliates.

The reports revealed that the methamphetamine belt is Norway, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Dresden in Germany and the fact that the realities of this market is not evoking interest in the EU but given the fact that Mexican traffickers are now involved in industrial meth production in various markets as the product is marketed as an affordable potent product to those who cannot afford or are not interested in cocaine this market has to be monitored. Cocaine and meth marketing on drug markets is then a proven product mix for Mexican transnational trafficking organisations (MTTOs). Meth prices are reported at 7-116 Eur per gram with purity ranging from 9% to 73%. Again a market with supply, pricing and purity problems which the MTTOs will intervene into supplying high purity, affordable and adequate supply of product thereby changing existing markets and creating new ones.

A recently concluded case of cocaine trafficking from Curacao to the EU in an UK court reveals the PR game of those charged with engaging with the illicit drug trade. Much chest thumping followed the interdiction of the vessel with a tonne of cocaine on board but it is only at the trial we learnt that the cocaine was 70% pure. The cocaine was stepped which meant the traffickers purchased the product from a supplier who cut the product/stepped on it to create tonnage for sale a simple petty hustler without leading edge connections in the business. If those who purchased the product knew it was stepped on and had no problem then they were also petty hustlers and they are supposed to know and petty hustlers seeking to move product in the spaces of the players to the EU are given up the agencies thump their chests and chant victory in the war and the tonnes of 90% pure and higher move into the EU in waves, Such is the game. Pax Mexicana.

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