EN | BA

Greece hub for drug, human trafficking: report

Criminal mobs operating in Greece make more than an estimated 100 million euros annually from crime | coastguard.dodlive.mil

Criminal mobs operating in Greece make more than an estimated 100 million euros annually from crime, with drug and migrant trafficking being the two major illegal activities recorded in the country, said a police report.

"We verified the participation in criminal activities of people who are incarcerated," the report noted.

The trafficking of migrants continued to be the biggest illegal activity in the country last year and the number of traffickers arrested by police increased compared to 2016. The report identified the traffickers as mainly Syrian, Greek, Pakistani, Albanian, Bulgarian and Turkish nationals.

Greece is described as a transit country for heroin produced in Asia and sold in Europe through the "Southern Balkan Axis."

In 2017, police recorded a significant increase in the seizures of raw cannabis from Albania, which is the number one producer of hash in Europe. In fact, several of the quantities of cannabis trafficked through Greece ended up in Turkey and were exchanged for heroin shipments.

"It was confirmed again in 2017 that cannabis from Albania is used to purchase heroin from Turkey," the report says. "Libya, after the onset of the political crisis it faces, has become a hub for trafficking hash into the EU through the Mediterranean."

Concerning property-related crime in 2017, police said Greek, Georgian and Albanian criminal gangs continue to play a dominant role, with a strong participation of Roma.

The Greek police 2017 report on serious and organized crime makes extensive reference to the involvement of foreign mafias in property-related crimes, such as thefts, burglaries and armed robberies, while police highlight the ability of incarcerated criminals to manage their illegal activities from prison.