For the third time in a row, Albania remains the main source of the cannabis that is trafficked throughout the EU.
This was confirmed by Laurent Laniel, scientific analyst for drug supply reduction, at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), in an interview with Monitor, immediately following the EMCDDA’s latest drug report.
Though the newly-published report does not include Albania, focusing instead on EU Member States, Laniel declared:
Albania remains a source of the cannabis that is brought into and consumed in the EU, and this is a certainty.
Two years ago, according to Albanian and Italian authorities, cannabis cultivation in Albania had decreased significantly, however it seems to have made a comeback last year, going off of the cannabis plants (and other products) that were seized in Albania.
In the previous year 75 tonnes of cannabis were seized in Albania, and this is no small amount. It would take a miracle for all this to go away within a single year.
Meanwhile, the report stresses that Western Balkans countries are especially important, not only as cannabis producers, but also as gateways for cocaine and heroin.
The two main pathways drugs traverse to reach the EU are: Turkey-Bulgaria-Macedonia-Albania, and Turkey-Bulgaria-Macedonia-Kosova-Albania. Albania, as part of the southern Balkans gateway, plays an important part in both of them.
The annual EMCDDA country drug report for Albania is expected to be published at the end of the year.