Wed, 26 Apr 2000
France: Spain Is Now Europe’s Drug Bazaar, Says Report
|SPAIN IS NOW EUROPE’S DRUG BAZAAR, SAYS REPORTSPAIN has become Europe’s ”primary clearing house,” for drugs, with Spaniards themselves largely responsible for letting international criminal organisations infest the country, according to the Geopolitical Drug Watch, a non profit organisation that monitors drug trafficking.
In a 248 page report, the Paris based organisation said that Spain has emerged as a ”gigantic drug bazaar” where criminal groups trade goods and services.
The Geopolitical Drug Watch, or OGD, cited alleged corruption among elected officials, police, the judiciary – and even chemistry professors. It cited, for example, police officers and judicial officials in Galicia, in northern Spain, acting as informants for drug traffickers.
The report also cited joint ventures between Galician smugglers and Colombian producer exporters with unprecedented profits in 1999.
”World attention has always been focused on the Netherlands, with Rotterdam as the gateway to Europe because of its liberal drug laws, but the truth is that the seizure of cocaine, heroin and hashish in Spain last year broke all records,” said OGD Director Alain Labrousse.
Following the death of eight Colombians in Spain in 1999, Spaniards took over the Colombian cocaine networks in Europe, especially in the area of money laundering, the report said.
Because of its geography as well as its tourist industry, Spain has become the preferred point of entry into Europe for North African, Latin American and Turkish drug traffickers, Mr Labrousse said.
Last year, 400 tons of hashish, 17 tons of cocaine and one ton of heroin, were seized at various entry points in Spain, according to the report.
”It’s up to Spain’s European neighbours to help enforce the fight against drugs,” Mr Labrousse said.
MAP posted-by: Jo-D