Report unveils $28.3bn EU drug trade, opioid use on rise

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The Hague –   Drug trafficking makes the biggest illegal market in European Union, generating 28.3 billion dollars each year, according to a report released by European Policing Agency — Europol — on Wednesday.

The agency said more than one-third of organised criminal gangs were involved in the production and trade of illegal drugs.

It stated that gangs used profits generated from drugs sale to fund other criminal activities, including terrorism.

The main drugs trafficked in the EU were cannabis and cocaine.

However, investigators from the EU police agency noted the most rapid developments in the production of synthetic drugs, with 620 new psychoactive substances having been discovered in the bloc over the past five years.

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They noted the market presence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that could be up to 10,000 times more potent than morphine, as example of the trend.

Since 2016, 14 new drugs containing the substance appeared in the market.

In Britain, more than 60 people died in the first eight months of 2017 after consuming fentanyl. (dpa/NAN)

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