What effect is COVID-19 having on the largest criminal market in the EU? This question is explored in EU Drug Markets: Impact of COVID-19, a new report out recently from the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and Europol. The analysis reports higher prices, local shortages and reduced purity for some drugs, while noting continued violence among suppliers and distributors. It also shows how organised crime groups remain active and resilient, by ‘adapting transportation models, trafficking routes and concealment methods’, even during the pandemic.
The two EU agencies have joined forces to improve understanding of drug market developments under COVID-19 and their impact on internal security and public health in the EU. The findings are based on opinions collected through a targeted EMCDDA online survey of drug experts in the EU Member States, Europol’s operational intelligence gathering on organised crime and structured monitoring of open source information.