Cocaine

Spain remains the EU country with the highest level of cocaine seizures, in 2001 accounting for more than half (53) of the EU total for both number of seizures and quantities seized. The cocaine seized in Europe comes from Latin America (mainly from Andean countries such as Peru and Colombia, but also from Ecuador), directly or via Central America, Spain and/or the Netherlands. Although Spain has been reported by some EU countries to be a transit country for cocaine into the EU, the Spanish authorities report that that there was no evidence of big shipments of cocaine in Spain corresponding to international trafficking. According to Europol, some 200 tonnes of cocaine enters the EU each year via maritime shipments and air couriers, facilitated by the presence of large ports and airports (54).

The retail price of cocaine in 2001 varied from EUR 47 to 187 per gram on average. The lowest prices were found in Spain, and the highest in Finland and Norway. Cocaine purity is generally high, between 45 % and 80 % in most countries, except in Ireland, where it was on average lower (23 %) in 2001.

Trends

The total number of cocaine seizures (Figure 30 OL) in the EU has risen steadily since the mid-1980s – apart from a decrease in 2000 – and seems to have continued to rise in 2001 (55). The quantities of cocaine seized (Figure 31 OL) also fluctuated within the context of an overall upward trend between 1985 and 2001. In 2001, a marked increase was reported – mainly due to a large increase in the total amount of cocaine seized by Spain.



Cocaine street prices have stabilised or decreased in all countries in recent years, but increased in 2001 in Norway. Cocaine purity remains generally stable or is decreasing in every Member State, though increases were reported in 2001 by Denmark, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom.


(53) Although this should be checked against missing 2001 data when available.

(54) Further information from Europol is given in Box 13 OL: Cocaine trafficking.

(55) This should be checked against 2001 missing data when available.