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    Illicit EU Drug Trade Funds Terrorism, Migrant Smuggling

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    Drug dealing in Europe brings billions of euros a year to criminals and provides financing for other criminal activities like terrorism and migrant smuggling, a new report published Tuesday has revealed.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The 2016 EU Drug Markets Report, prepared by EU police agency Europol and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, aimed to assess the costs of illegal drug trade for society and suggest counter-measures.

    "This valuable report explores the links to other criminal activities and how the illicit income from the drug trade can fund migrant smuggling and terrorism, and undermine international development efforts," EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos said at the presentation.

    ​Europeans spend at least 24 billion euros ($27 billion) a year on illicit drugs, making it one of the main profit-generating activities for organized criminals in the region, according to the report. Cannabis accounts for the biggest share of revenues, followed by heroin and cocaine.

    The report pointed out that migrants and other victims of human trafficking, as well as vulnerable people in general, are being coerced into working on production plants.

    Europol Director Rob Wainwright, who co-authored the report, warned that as drug dealing grows more complex and becomes entwined with other forms of crime and even terrorism, "it represents a key threat to the internal security of the EU."

    Although the report acknowledged the threat of criminals using proceeds from drug smuggling to finance terrorism it stressed that in Europe terrorist activities are still carried out by small cells and "lone wolves" who mostly rely on other sources of funding.

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    Tags:
    terrorism, human trafficking, drug trade, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Europol, European Union, Dimitris Avramopolous
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