Council of the
Brussels, 9 November 2017
Austrian Regional Chair of the Dublin Group (Co-Chair: Hungary)
No. prev. doc.:
Regional Report on the Western Balkans
Western Balkans Region
• The so-called “Balkan Route” of drug trafficking dominates this area. Through this route hard
drugs are shipped from their original production sites in Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic
of Iran via Turkey and the Balkans to Central and Western Europe.
• What seems to be a common challenge in this area is the lack of political support behind
measures taken against drug trafficking and often the lack of cooperation (especially in the
fields of information sharing) between competent authorities.
• International cooperation especially with EU Member States is considered to be successful by
most of the countries in the region. This takes place mostly on a case by case basis in the field
of police operations (for example aerial investigation of areas of cannabis cultivation).
• Drug crimes remain a serious problem for Albania. The country continues to be both a country
of origin (for cannabis and its derivates) and a transit route (for hard drugs like Cocaine and
• The fight against drugs remains one of the main priorities of the Albanian Law Enforcement
• The main focus of the new National Action Plan against Cannabis Cultivation and Trafficking
(NAPC) 2017 - 2020, presented in February 2017, is the joint interinstitutional effort to identify,
detect and dismantle criminal groups and networks that are active in the cultivation and
trafficking in cannabis.
• In 2017, the government continued restructuring the police. Training and equipment of the
Albanian Border Police further improved, resulting in more seizures.
• The government continued to run several drug prevention and awareness programs.
Bosnia and Herzegovina:
• Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country of transit and final destination of drugs / narcotics into the
EU and other parts of Western Europe.
• While almost all types of narcotic drugs can be found on the black market in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, it is dominated by products of cannabis, heroin and synthetic drugs.
• Due to limited financial possibilities of (young) drug users harder drugs play a less important
role while demand for amphetamines and other softer drugs is significant.
• Drug demand reduction is of extreme importance, also due to the considerable social problems
in the country (low income, high rate of unemployment).
• The draft for a National Strategy on Supervision over Narcotic Drugs, Prevention and
Suppression of the Abuse of Narcotic Drugs
was submitted to the Entity bodies for their
consent. It is expected that it will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers at the beginning of
• Heroine transit through Kosovo (the Balkan route) has been reduced over the last years,
especially in 2016 and 2017: Traffickers don’t have much interest in trafficking heroin across
Kosovo since proceeds from marijuana trafficking are bigger and the sentences much lower.
• Marijuana is the most common drug in Kosovo. The cultivation of cannabis in Albania had an
additional impact on Kosovo.
• Kosovo remains a transit country for Marijuana to Western Europe (about 10% goes to the
domestic market). The mode of marijuana trafficking has changed recently to using furniture
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:
• Compared to the same period last year, seizures of marihuana, cocaine, synthetic pills and stems
"cannabis sativa" have increased while those of heroin have decreased.
• The fight against illicit drug trafficking in the first nine months of 2017 was one of the strategic
priorities of the Ministry of the Interior.
• Due to the current political crises in the country the implementation of the National Drug
Strategy was slowed down in all five segments: demand, supply, coordination, research and
analysis, international cooperation.
• External assistance is needed to support capacity building (especially in the area of control of
• Montenegro is mainly a transit country of drugs (cannabis products) and - because of its size –
only a small market for cannabis, heroin and cocaine. Drug consumption reaches its peak during
the summer holiday season because of incoming tourists that also introduced synthetic drugs to
• In 2017 a new record high of drug seizures was reached due to increasing cannabis production
in Albania as well as successful international police cooperation.
• Montenegro has passed the Law on the Prevention of Drug Abuse
in order to protect public
health and to harmonize its national legislation with international standards.
• Organized drug trafficking and smuggling is still the most widely spread form of organized
crime in the Republic of Serbia and the so-called „Balkan route“ is still most popular and most
frequently used for narcotics smuggling.
• Heroin mostly originates from Тurkеy, with growing tendencies from FYROM, Kosovo, and
Metohija. Heroin prices have not significantly changed and are about € 20,000.00 per kilo,
depending on its quality.
• Маrijuana was predominant again in 2016 in the field of psychoactive controlled substances. It
is still mainly smuggled from the territories of Albania, Montenegro, АP Кosovo, and Мetohija.
Кosovo and Мetohija.
• Illegal laboratories for the production of the narcotic drug „skunk“ are more often seized on the
territory of Serbia. Equipment in these laboratories ranges from home production to well
equipped laboratories according to highest standards.
Report by the Tirana Mini-Dublin Group
January - September 2017
This Report by the Tirana Mini-Dublin Group on the situation and the developments in Albania in
the fight against drugs and drug trafficking covers the period January to September 2017 and was
jointly coordinated by the Embassies of Austria and Hungary.
1. General situation
• In 2017 drug crimes have remained a serious problem for Albania. The country continued to be
both a country of origin (for cannabis and its derivates) and a transit route (for hard drugs like
Cocaine and Heroin). In 2017, however, the substantial number of drug seizures and arrests
• The fight against drugs remains one of the main priorities of the Albanian Law Enforcement
Agencies. The government of Edi Rama, which was re-elected this year, has repeatedly
confirmed their commitment to engaging in intensive efforts to strike organized crime and
trafficking in narcotics.
• The new National Action Plan against Cannabis Cultivation and Trafficking (NAPC) 2017-
2020 was presented by the Albanian government in February 2017. The Progress Report of the
European Commission for 2016 highlights that Albania has intensified the fight against
cultivation of drugs (mainly cannabis sativa), but it still remains a serious challenge.
• Continuing the trend of the previous years, Albania achieved tangible results fighting illegal
drugs in 2017. Both the volume of drug seizures and arrests remained very high. From January -
September 2017, over 68 tons of marijuana were seized. Seizures and arrests also increased
substantialy in neighbouring EU countries.
• In 2017, the government continued restructuring the police and the modernization of police
equipment. Training and equipment of the Albanian Border Police further improved which had
a positive impact on the effectiveness of the border control and the number of seizures.
• Albania continued to receive assistance from several countries to enhance its counter-narcotics
capacities. A number of joint international operations were conducted.
• The government continued to run several drug prevention and awareness programs.
1.1. Legislation and coordination
Albania has a wide-ranging legal and sub-legal framework, as well as a considerable number of
strategic documents that address the narcotics issues.
The criminal legislation in force is almost complete. The country has acceded to the United Nations
Conventions “Against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances” of 1998,
“On Psychotropic Substances” of 1971, and the “Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs” of 1961.
The Criminal Code has been amended from time to time and specific conventions, laws, by-laws
were approved; strategic documents and programs were being developed, thus creating the
necessary regulatory framework in the fight against cultivation and trafficking in narcotic plants.
Developing a new National Action Plan against Cannabis Cultivation and Trafficking (NAPC) 2017
- 2020 arose from the need to prevent, fight and eradicate this phenomenon, which continues to be
present despite the major blows it has suffered over the years. The evaluation of the implementation
of the National Anti-Narcotics Strategy 2012-2016 concluded that it was a partial approach and that
its outcomes did not meet expectations and possibilities. Instead of developing a new strategy the
Albanian Government has decided to approve and implement the new National Action Plan against
In March 2013, the so-called speed boat moratorium, a law which prevented Albanian citizens from
possessing speed boats of a certain size, came to an end. So far no significant increase of interest in
registering speed boats previously prevented by the moratorium has been seen. The Adriatic and
Ionian Sea area, however, remained an important route for narcotics smuggling from Albania to
1.2. Strengthening of capacities
Inter-institutional cooperation and coordination
A joint platform for the execution of proactive investigations has been developed in the framework
of implementation of the cooperation agreement between the Prosecutor General, the Ministry of
Interior and the State Intelligence Service (SHISH).
The main focus of the NAPC 2017- 2020 is the joint interinstitutional effort to deal a multifaceted
blow in order to identify, detect and dismantle criminal groups and networks that are active in the
cultivation and trafficking in cannabis.
Fight against narcotic plants cultivation: Airborne Remote Sensing for Detection and Monitoring
Albanian Cannabis plantation - Flight Mission 2017
Monitoring the terrain from the air has continued to be the most important measure to identify areas
of cannabis cultivation. Flights were conducted by the Italian Guardia di Finanza and took place in
the period from May 15 to September 15, 2017. The percentage of air surveillance of Albanian
territory in 2017 was 23,77%. This percentage includes the scanned area of the Albanian territory
by means of hyperspectral sensor and territory screening, excluding urban areas, lakes, streets/road
and spots where any kind of cultivation is impossible. In total 53 flight missions (flight hours in
total: 129 h 15´) were performed and the overflown and scanned area amounted to 683.249ha. In
total 88 suspected Cannabis plantations with a total area of 1.971ha were detected; 4.844 Cannabis
plants were destroyed. In comparison with the year 2016, when in total an area of more than 213ha
Cannabis plantations was detected, a considerably smaller area of suspected Cannabis plantations
was noticed this year (1,971 ha).
1.3. Police activities against trafficking of drugs
The country continued to be both a country of origin (for cannabis and its derivates) and a transit
route (for hard drugs like Cocaine and Heroin). According to the Albanian Police, in 2017 the
trafficking of marijuana was the number one problem. Cannabis was still cultivated all over the
country, albeit in much smaller amounts than in 2016.
In 2017 the production of marijuana has decreased significantly. Considering the large amounts that
were seized by the police this year, it can be deduced that large amounts of 2016’s substantial
harvest are still in circulation (or stocked) and are being trafficked to other countries.
In 2017, exchanges of mutual accusations of the political powers about alleged involvement of
current and former government officials in organized drug trafficking continued, thus highly
politicizing the issue of the fight against drugs.
As for hard drugs, Albania remained a transit country. Local consumption, especially of cocaine, is
increasing; seizures were performed mainly on border crossing points. Seized drug shipments of
hard drugs were most probably destined for Western European countries via Albanian middlemen.
68t 234kg 368,33g
Statistical table on seized quantities of drugs, Jan - Sept 2017 (Source: Albanian government)
In the period January to September 2017, a total of 1.390 cases of sales of narcotics were detected,
1.218 (88%) of which have been clarified. 1.693 offenders are involved in these crimes, 1.014
(60%) of these have been arrested, 569 (34%) have been prosecuted at large and for 110 (6%)
search warrants have been issued.
Detected Clarified Detection Arrested Prosecuted At
Statistical table on offenses and suspects prosecuted, Jan-Sept 2017 (Source: Albanian government)
From January to September 2017, 63 criminal gangs involved in the production, sale and trafficking
of narcotics (excluding cultivation) were discovered and 316 offenders were identified, 245 of
which have been detained. In comparison with the same period in 2016, this amounts to a plus of 24
criminal gangs discovered, a plus of 128 identified offenders and a plus of 80 offenders which were
Investigations using special techniques
The forces in charge of investigating narcotics have initiated criminal proceedings in 154 cases and
conducted proactive investigations against narcotics using special techniques.
In comparision with the same period 2016, 78 more cases were taken up, in 74 of which criminal
proceedings were initiated.
Altogether 29 operations with international cooperation were conducted, some of which have not
yet been conluded.
1.4 Police operations against drugs production
According to international experts, the fight against drug cultivation (mainly cannabis sativa) has
been intensified further over the last year. However, police and prosecutors do not go further up in
the chain of drug supply but remain at the lower level. Moreover, the investigations are not
systematically accompanied by parallel financial investigations (even if it was observed that
Prosecutor Offices (PO), Albanian State Police (ASP) and the Anti-money laundering Department
of the Ministry of Finance started to ask cooperation in order to localize assets or criminal records
of subjects involved in suspicious transitions).
Monitoring the terrain from the air has continued to be the most important measure to identify areas
of cannabis cultivation. A significant number of air surveillance flights (53) were conducted under
the Italian Ministry of the Interior - Department of Public Security coordination by the Italian
Guardia di Finanza pilots, in cooperation with the Albanian State Police and an Italian Accademic
Consortium (BENECON). Aerial photographies made during these flights (close to 24% of the
Albanian territory) were the key means of localizing potential cultivation areas and enabled ASP to
intervene on the spot.
Data from the Directorate for Public Security concerning cannabis cultivation
267 offenses concerning the cultivation of cannabis were detected, 228 offenders were identified,
125 of which have been arrested, 11 detained, 29 are being prosecuted at large and for 63 search
warrants have been issued.
99 offenders (public servants at municipalities and forest administration offices) are being
prosecuted because of abuse of authority and concealment of crime. Out of these, 13 have been
arrested, 1 detained, 82 are being prosecuted at large and for 3 of them search warrants have been
In the period from January to September 2017, 267 offenses and 63.307 cannabis plants were
detected. During the same period in 2016, 1.589 offenses and 2.408.221 cannabis plants were
detected. This represens a minus of 1.322 cases and 2.344.914 plants in comparison to 2016.
1.5. Police prevention activities
The program „education, awareness building and reduction of demand for drugs and other harmful
substances“ has been implemented in schools (up to grade 9) according to a cooperation agreement
between the Albanian Ministry of Education and Sport and the Ministry of Interior.
Tirana Mini-Dublin Group recommendations for 2017
• Corruption and organized crime remain a major concern in Albania; a comprehensive overall
strategic approach towards tackling these issues needs to be established.
• Albania´s efforts and the assistance of the International Community have led to progress in the
fight against drugs. However, continued efforts and support regarding functioning structures and
skilled staff (including training activities) as well as improved technical equipment (e.g. in
forensics) are necessary.
• Therefore the establishment of an independent directorate to combat drug crime and the
strengthening of the Security Academy should be considered.
• Lack of communication and cooperation between police and state prosecutors constitutes a
problem in Albania which makes the follow-up of police operations difficult and opaque.
Therefore a special public prosecutor's office to combat drug crime should be established.
• Besides investigating people involved in drug production, effective measures should be taken to
investigate (with parallel financial investigations) and prosecute the leaders of criminal
networks dealing with drug production and trafficking. This process needs to be monitored by
the international community.
• Efforts undertaken by the Narcotic sector of the Directorate of Narcotics and Illegal trafficking
should be strengthened and encouraged by foreign partners.
• Particular attention should be paid to Heroin and Cocaine trafficking by reinforcing
international operational cooperation.
• Continued efforts should be undertaken in prevention, for example by increasing the impact of
existing anti-drug campaigns.
• Security of seized drugs’ storage and effective destruction procedures need to be ensured and
arrested persons need to be properly indicted and convicted.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Update by the Sarajevo Mini-Dublin Group
This Report by the Sarajevo Mini-Dublin Group on the situation and the developments in Bosnia
and Herzegovina in the fight against drugs and drug trafficking was coordinated by the Embassy of
Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to be a country facing particular security challenges, which also
influence its fight against drugs. It has never played a central role as a transit country for migrants,
but the Mini Dublin Group Sarajevo is aware that this can change in the future. Almost all types of
narcotic drugs can be found on the black market in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA), while it is
dominated by products of cannabis, heroin and synthetic drugs. Based on the analysis of the
organized criminal groups’ modus operandi that have been discovered, investigated and processed
by the police and partially by the judicial authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as gathered
intelligence, international trends, and pathways of movement of drugs, BA is a country of transit
and final destination of drugs / narcotics into the EU and other parts of Western Europe. However,
apparent productions of smaller quantities of marijuana have also been observed. In the period from
2013 to present, according to investigations conducted by judicial and police agencies, marijuana
plantations and artificial laboratories for the production of marijuana have been found in different
parts of BA. However, the highlight here is that the Mini Dublin Group sees no real downturn in
BA criminals involved in the transit of heroin and cannabis. Furthermore, the production of
synthetic drugs in BA seems to increase.
The fight against money laundering should be reinforced, since money laundering is essential for
drug dealers to make sure that revenues are hidden. Austria is, together with Slovenian counterparts
and competent authorities of BA, implementing a twinning-project in this field. The EU is
supporting the establishment of an Early Warning System and the creation of a National Drug
The Mini Dublin Group Sarajevo still believes that drug demand reduction is of extreme
importance, also due to the considerable social problems in the country (low income, high rate of
unemployment). These can lead to an increased demand for drugs; therefore all Bosnian authorities
should be assisted in their fight for drug demand reduction.
Harder drugs continue to play a less important role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to limited
financial possibilities of (young) drug-users. In so far the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
differs from that in many central European countries. Demand for amphetamines and other softer
drugs continues to be significant. Since demand for softer drugs is higher, there is a strong tendency
to exchange hard against soft drugs. Organized criminals are highly active in this field.
Furthermore, there is a tendency that drugs are exchanged against firearms on the black market.
BA continues to be a country where larger amounts of drugs are stored, in particular coming from
Montenegro and Albania. On the other hand, it seems that dominant members of drug cartels from
Serbia and Montenegro are increasingly cooperating with BA authorities on a higher level.
The National Strategy on Supervision over Narcotic Drugs, Prevention and Suppression of the
Abuse of Narcotic Drugs in BA
was drafted by the Working Group and submitted to the Entity
bodies for their consent. It is expected that the strategy will be forwarded to the Council of
Ministers at the beginning of December 2017.
The BA Commission for Suppression of Abuse of Narcotic Drugs
became operative. It held sessions
to discuss the issue of legalization of marihuana for medical purposes.
The Anti-Drug Conference of the OSCE, Vienna, 10/11 July 2017
The OSCE Anti-Drug Conference which took place in Vienna on 10/11 July 2017 proved to be also
of particular relevance for the fight against drugs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was stressed that
the illegal deal in drugs is still an important source of income for many criminals, also in the
Western Balkans. In many cases there is a close context between drugs and other illegal sources of
income (money laundering, smuggling of migrants and weapons, etc). Darknet offers new
possibilities to buy drugs, i.e. to use artificial currencies like Bitcoin to purchase them, and to get
them delivered by regular mail.
Conclusion of the Mini Dublin Group Sarajevo
• The Mini Dublin Group Sarajevo strongly urges the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
enhance cooperation between the various layers of public administration in the fight against
drugs. It had to be noted, as already in previous years, that there is a certain lack of coordination
between police authorities on state level, in the entities and in cantons in the Federation. This
impairs the efficiency and effectiveness of police and other authorities in the fight against drugs.
However, the Mini Dublin Group Sarajevo is aware of the fact that thorough constitutional
changes, which would perhaps make the fight against drugs easier, are not possible in the
• The Mini Dublin Group Sarajevo believes that it is of paramount importance to enhance the
fight against corruption, since corruption undoubtedly impairs the work of police authorities, as
well as the work of other authorities included in the prevention and suppression. It
acknowledges the endeavours of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina in this
field, which are, however, still insufficient. It also believes that it is important to support NGOs
in the fight against corruption.
• Furthermore, the Mini Dublin Group Sarajevo urges Bosnian authorities to strive harder to draw
up reliable statistics. Due to the highly federalist structure of Bosnian police authorities, this is a
difficult task, to which more attention should be paid.
In order to overcome the problem of different models of data collection, regarding the supply
indicators, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) organized a
specific training at the end of 2016 regarding the collection and analysis of data concerning drugs
seizures, in line with the EU protocol and the standardized data collection tool. Several follow-up
training sessions in the first semester of 2017 have been organized, at which all law enforcement
bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina attended. Following these training sessions, the decision to use
the EMCDDA standard data collection tool for drugs seizures, from 1 July 2017 onwards, has been
taken. It is still too early to evaluate the effects of the new and unified data collection method.
link to page 17
Report by the Pristina Mini-Dublin Group
This Report by the Pristina Mini-Dublin Group on the situation and the developments in Kosovo in
the fight against drugs and drug trafficking is based on a Presentation by the Directorate for
Investigation of Trafficking with Narcotics of the Kosovo Police and was coordinated by the
Embassy of Austria.
Coordinating body for the implementation of the
objectives provided by Strategy
N ational Coordinator
The Judicial & Prosec. Council
This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244
and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence;
Narcotics Investigation Directory
Sector for Regional Invest.
Analyze and Statistics Office
Central Sector for Invest.
Prevent. and Cooper. Sector
Legal Basis and Strategic Documents
Kosovo Penal Code
Kosovo Penal Procedure Code
Law on narcotic medication and psychotropic substances
Law for peace and public order
Law on Police
National Strategy fighting Drugs and Action plane 2012-2017
DITN Annual Strategy
- 281 schools
- 318 schools
- 788 school lectures
- 646 school lectures
- 24,325 students
- 21,033 participants
- 1 camp, 60 students
- 1 camp, 65 students
- 10,333 Preventive Patrols
- TV and radio shows
- Two conferences
- About 5.000 leaflets, etc.
- Marking of the Int. Day against Drugs
- TV and radio shows
- Tool-free telephone hotline
Reduction of offer and supply
888 new cases
1.134 new cases
726 Criminal charges
754 Criminal charges
148 Operational Plans
56 Operational Plans
17 Criminal groups destroyed
16 Criminal groups destroyed
1.688 kg e 235g
Since 2014, heroin trafficking has changed. Heroine transit through Kosovo (the Balkan route) has
been reduced over the last years, especially in 2016 and 2017. Traffickers don’t have much interest
in trafficking heroin across Kosovo. Benefits from marijuana trafficking are bigger and the
sentences much lower. Now, heroin mainly crosses trough the Black Sea and stops in Odessa
(Ukraine) to continue to Western Europe. In general, heroin is missing in Kosovo and the level of
circulation has decreased. The main existing transit routes of heroin trafficking through Kosovo are:
- Afghanistan-Iran-Turkey-Bulgaria-Macedonia (or Serbia)–Kosovo
- Afghanistan-Iran-Turkey-Bulgaria- Macedonia (or Albania)-Kosovo-Serbia-EU MS
- Afghanistan-Iran-Turkey-Greece-Albania-Kosovo-Montenegro-EU MS
Marijuana is the most common drug in Kosovo. The criminal groups that engage in Marijuana
trafficking are still using Kosovo as a transit to move to Western Europe, although a small amount
remains for the domestic market (about 10%). Origin of confiscated marijuana (almost all)
originated in Albania. Based on the investigation, it is suspected that most of this substance has
been destined for Western Europe. The main roads of marijuana trafficking are:
- Albania-Kosovo-Serbia-EU MS
- Albania-Kosovo-Montenegro-EU MS
Based on the socio-economic conditions in Kosovo and the fact that Cocaine belongs to the more
expensive drugs, it turns out that cocaine is less demanding in Kosovo. In Kosovo, cocaine is
trafficked in small amounts for local consumption. The main roads of cocaine trafficking are:
By comparing the statistics, we can see that the possession of drugs, through which the
consumption can be understood, has a slight increase. The number of cases of Marijuana and
Cocaine possession has increased slightly, while heroin cases are noticeably reduced. The reduction
of the demand for heroin also is confirmed by Treatment Centers where, in the last two years, only
two new consumers have been registered.
In 2016 Kosovo Police had 799 cases of drug possession, while in the first 10 months of 2017 there
were already 913 cases.
As has been seen from seizures, marijuana trafficking has increased. Cultivation of cannabis in
Albania has an impact on Kosovo: In 2016 Kosovo had 198 cases of drug trafficking, while in the
first 10 months of 2017 there were 190 cases.
The mode of marijuana trafficking has changed recently. Traffickers are using furniture
manufacturing companies for drug trafficking. In the last two years drugs were found been hidden
in the windows, rollers, chairs and wooden doors.
Cannabis cultivation cases are not large in Kosovo. Cannabis is cultivated for personal use. It is
sown in flower pots, in yards and in the fields, together with other agricultural products. Over 50%
of cannabis herbs are wild plants.
In 2016 Kosovo Police registered 85 cases of drug cultivation, while in the first 10 months of 2017
there were only 30.
Gender and Age Distribution of Suspects
The Kosovo Police's priority is international cooperation in the field of drug-fighting and the
Kosovo Police has been and is participating in the following international projects:
JIFT Drugs -f / arms - Joint investigation to fight trafficking in drugs and firearms with the main
focus on international airports within and also into the EU
Kosovo and the Czech Republic are partner countries in this two-year project (December 2016 -
December 2018) which is lead by Austria. It organizes real-time operations at airports and border
points in EU member states and in other countries where drug trafficking is suspected. So far five
joint operation days and 6 operational meetings have been carried out.
As a result of the operations in Kosovo six people were arrested and 16 kg and 394g of marijuana,
two weapons, 6.857 cartridges, pieces of weapons, imported from China, one spray etc. were
Cooperation Southeast Danube Region- for combating drug trafficking
The purpose of this project which is led by BKA Germany, is to discuss and analyze the situation of
the South-East Danube countries regarding narcotics trafficking and to preserve the achievements of
the project's official web site, which will show States how to prevent and combat this phenomenon.
Apart from the member states, the project partners also includes Interpol, Europol, UNODC and
Pompidou Group - organized in the Council of Europe
Annual meetings are held in Strasbourg, where the current situation regarding the trafficking of
narcotics through airports is discussed and analyzed. Although Kosovo is not a member of the
Council of Europe, Kosovo police are invited to attend all regular meetings. Apart from member
states Interpol, Europol, UNODC and EMCDDA also participate in this project.
IPA 2013 Western Balkans Project 2015-2017
The purpose of this project, which is led by Italy, is to support Western Balkan states in joint
investigations of organized crime cases. So far, Kosovo Police participated in two cases of
Drug-related statistics and data
1. Cases and arrested persons (2004-2016)
2. Confiscation data
Other Drugs (g)
699. 63 g
3. Data breakdown January-March 2017
190 913 30
1688kg 235 g 707g
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Report by the Skopje Mini-Dublin Group
This Report by the Skopje Mini-Dublin Group on the situation and the developments in the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the fight against drugs and drug trafficking was coordinated by
the Embassy of Austria.
Drug supply reduction
The maximum efforts of the police to prevent supply and reduce the demand for drugs have given
positive results with realized 608 (611) crimes, of which 488 "unauthorized production and release
of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors" and 120 criminal acts "enabling the use
of narcotic drugs". Measures of criminal prosecution were taken against 708 perpetrators.
In these cases 555 kilograms and 983 grams of marihuana, 814 grams of heroin, 717 grams of
cocaine, 2.414 stems, 254 pieces and two kilograms and 618 grams of seeds from the cannabis
sativa plant, 16.2 grams of hashish and 72, 9 milliliters of hashish oil, 1,736 milliliters methadone,
469,5 tablets ecstasy, 52 tablets and 312 grams amphetamine, 0.5 tablets and 2.82 grams
methamphetamine, 5.397 tablets tramadol, 972.9 grams of caffeine and paracetamol, two pieces of
LSD, and 105 pieces of buprenorphine were detected and seized.
Compared to the same period last year, the increase in seizures of marihuana, cocaine, synthetic
pills and stems "cannabis sativa" is evident, while the decrease in heroin seizures is also evident. A
high percentage (80%) of the drugs was seized by the Home Affairs Departments, mostly with
support or in coordinated actions with the Criminal Police Department.
The first nine months of 2017
The fight against illicit drug trafficking in the first nine months of 2017 was one of the strategic
priorities of the Ministry of the Interior. In this period, the suppression of illicit drug trafficking
resulted in the detection of 390 criminal offenses, including 332 for "unauthorized production and
release of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors" and 58 criminal acts "enabling
the use of narcotic drugs". The crimes were committed by 433 perpetrators.
the first nine monts оf 2017
the first nine monts оf 2016
Over 364 kilograms of diferent narcotic drugs were seized, including 363 kilograms and 017 grams
of marijuana, 881 grams of heroin, 250 grams of cocaine, 356 stems, 76.18 grams and 195 pieces of
cannabis sativa plant, 4 tablets and 77.43 grams of amphetamine, 6.27 grams of hashish, 837
ecstasy tablets, 18.28 grams of caffeine and paracetamol.
Between January and October 2017 the Custom Administration seized a total of 997.116 grams of
Marihuana at the border crossing point Blace, 14.500 grams of Marihuana at the border crossing
point Tabanovce (July), and 2.745 grams of Marihuana at Custom service Skopje 2 (August).
The Ministry of Interior identified the seized drugs as originating from Afghanistan – Pakistan –
Iran region, or Albania in case of Cannabis.
Seizures of heroin in the mentioned period have been reported in connection with the land route.
The price of the heroin seized in drug wholesale market would reach up to 70,000 euros; if sold in
smaller quantities the price would be two to three times higher.
Seizures of cocaine in the mentioned period have been reported in connection with the air and land
Marihuana is mainly moving through Albania into the Western border region and then leaving the
country northward, to Serbia through the border crossing point Tabanovce.
Update on the country's anti-drugs strategy
Implementation of the National Drug Strategy was slowed down in the previous period, due to the
current political crises in the country in all five segments of the strategy: demand, supply,
coordination, research and analysis, international cooperation. We hope that in the future the
situation will improve.
HBSC survey and IPA projects
The HBSC survey (supported by WHO) has been conducted four times in FYROM, in 2002, 2006 ,
2009/2010, 2014/2015. Cannabis, regarded as a so-called gateway drug, is the illicit substance used
most frequently by schoolchildren across Europe and North America, with a 12-month prevalence
ranging from about 27% in Canada to around 3% in FYROM.
With support from the EU Commission (IPA Project, implemented by EMCDDA and NFP), a
General population survey (GPS), the first of its kind, is in preparaton in FYROM. GPS aims to
collect comparable and reliable information on the extent and pattern of consumption of different
drugs in the general population, the characteristics and behaviors of users, and the attitudes of
different population groups towards drug use.
FYROM contribution to the EU early warning system (EWS) continues and the establishment of
EWS in FYROM, supported by the EU Commission (IPA Project, implemented by EMCDDA and
NFP) is in preparation.
Cannabis for medical use
The law for the control of narcotics and psychotropic substances was amended and a few rulebooks
were adopted. Article 14 now reads: “Drugs containing THC, dronabinol or nabilone can be
prescribed by selected doctors (doctor of medicine, specialist in general medicine, specialist family
medicine, specialist in pediatrics) on the recommendation of specialists of neurology, oncology and
radiotherapy and infectious diseases, employed in public health institution providing inpatient
Data for acute intoxication / overdose and drug abuse for January - July 2017
- FYROM’s National Police has established a good level of cooperation with other national
police directorates in neighbouring countries (Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece);
- FYROM has signed MoUs with various countries on fighting organised crime and drug
trafficking (i.e. Hungary etc.);
- FYROM’s National Police has been successfully cooperating on a case by case basis with
national police liaison officers from various EU member states, especially Austria, Germany
- Cooperation also continues through the Interpol and Europol networks;
- Border control efforts are being strengthened through the development of partnerships and
effective working relationships with organizations such as INTERPOL, SELEC, SEPCA,
EUROPOL, EUROJUST, DCAF, UNODC; cooperation with these networks is crucial for
effective and coordinated action in tackling organized crime, improved operational approach,
supported by a highly developed database allowing for the identification and targeting of repeat
- Good cooperation in joint projects continued between the National Focal Point (Sector for
controlled substances, Ministry of Health) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and
Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) as well as UNODC.
Mini-Dublin Group assessment of needs for external assistance
• External assistance is needed to support capacity building (especially in the area of control of
• Assistance in increasing projects aimed at prevention (primary, environmental, indicative and
selective) and juvenile consumption, as well as operational support
• The identified problems call for surveys on poly-drug use, its extent and reasons as well as for
research in the field of psychoactive drug use while driving.
Report by the Podgorica Mini-Dublin Group
The Report by the Podgorica Mini-Dublin Group on the situation and the developments in
Montenegro in the fight against drugs and drug trafficking was coordinated by the Embassy of
Austria. It is based on information provided by the Montenegrin Ministry of Health and the
Antidrug Unit of the Montenegrin Police.
Montenegro is mainly a transit country of drugs (cannabis products) and - because of its size – only
a small market for cannabis, heroin and cocaine. Drug consumption reaches its peak during the
summer holiday season when the tourists are coming that, by the way, are also introducing synthetic
drugs to the market.
In 2017 a new record high of drug seizures was reached due to increasing cannabis production in
Albania as well as successful international police cooperation.
Montenegro passed the Law on the Prevention of Drug Abuse
in order to protect public health and
to harmonize its national legislation with international standards in this field. Montenegro has to
reach EU standards before becoming a member country (Enlargement Negotiation Chapter 24).
link to page 37 link to page 37
The Strategy of Montenegro for the Prevention of Drug Abuse 2013-20202
is in line with the EU
Drugs Strategy 2013-2020
and is based on two key dimensions of drug policy, drug demand
reduction and drug supply reduction, which is complemented with the relevant topics of
international cooperation, information, research and cooperation and coordination. The
implementation of the Action Plan 2013-2016
was evaluated by an expert mission in the framework
of TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument of the European
Commission). On the basis of its recommendations the new Action Plan 2017 – 21083
by Montenegro on 16 February 2017. The Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy of
Montenegro for the prevention of drug abuse for 2017-2018
provides for a multi-sector
implementation of goals, in regards to both the government and non-government sector and defines
different activities aimed at guiding the responsible subjects toward the main fields of intervention.
The goals provided in this Action Plan cover the areas of law implementation, customs, police,
public healthcare, social security system, education, international cooperation, etc. It is in
accordance with the recommendations of the EU expert team for drug policies who participated—
through an expert mission—in the external mid-term evaluation of the Strategy of Montenegro for
the prevention of drug abuse 2013-2020. The Conclusions of the Council of the European Union
(CORDROGUE 70 SAN 279) regarding minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction in
the European Union were adhered to as well.
The early warning system for new psychoactive substances in Montenegro is in line with the EU
acquis and also in accordance with the recommendations of the European Monitoring Center for
Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and has been established with TAIEX support and in close
cooperation with the European Commission.
3 . Predlog akcionog plana za sprovođenje Strategije Crne Gore za sprječavanje zloupotrebe droga za 2017-
2018. godinu (bez rasprave)
Strengthening of capacities
Implementation of the action plan has resulted in progress on aligning the legal and institutional
system with international standards, including through training on drug prevention. A draft plan has
been prepared and training has been given to civil servants on setting up a national drug information
system and a national early warning system. Cooperation is in place with EUROPOL on new
detected drugs and with civil society organizations on the rehabilitation of drug addicts. Destruction
of seized drugs is not yet systematic. An appropriate process for the destruction of precursors has
yet to be set up. Montenegro submits the requested reports to the multilateral organizations.
Although there were only sporadic reports on new psychoactive substances in Montenegro (and
mainly during the tourist season), it is necessary to strengthen the existing capacities for detection
of new psychoactive substances and new trends in the consumption of drugs, and to provide
proactive action in terms of taking measures to control and protect the health of citizens from the
possible toxic effects of new psychoactive substances.
The Antidrug Unit of the Criminal Police should consist of 55 members in 8 offices; however, due
to various reasons (payment, personal security, burn-out, etc.) it is understaffed by 20%.
The Forensic Center of the Police also has limited resources and capacities, especially for storage of
big quantities of seized drugs.
Inter-institutional cooperation and coordination
The Antidrug Unit of the Criminal Police highlighted the coordination and cooperation of the
involved Montenegrin authorities in the field of antidrug combat but mentioned that all responsible
authorities have limited resources and are understaffed.
In the past 5 years 150 to 200 persons were prosecuted (Higher and Special prosecution) for
criminal offenses in the field of drugs each year.
The record drug seizures in 2016 and 2017 were achieved by coordinated work of the Montenegrin
Police, especially the Antidrug Unit of the Criminal Police, in cooperation with the Border Police
and Customs. During 2016, officers of the Antidrug Unit conducted 23 operations with the use of
secret surveillance measures. There was a noticeable increase of 70% in opened and conducted
cases compared to 2015, during which 14 long-term investigations were carried out with the use of
secret surveillance measures. This success is the result of extraordinary operative field work and the
exchange of operational information with partner services of other countries.
International and national police activities and cooperation
The Montenegrin police conducted 8 international investigations against drug smuggling OCGs in
2016, as opposed to 6 in 2015. There was also an increase in the number of operations three of
which are mentioned below:
In cooperation with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) two nationals of Turkey
and Syria were arrested on 14 April. The operation was launched in September 2015 at the request
of the Special Operations and Bilateral Investigations Unit of DEA. In the course of this
investigation evidence was gathered that the suspects are involved in the procurement and
smuggling of large quantities of weapons and cocaine for the purpose of criminal organizations
operating in Mexico, the United States and Western European countries. Officials of the Antidrug
Unit of Montenegro, in cooperation with the Special State Prosecutor, using special investigative
methods, managed to identify and locate and finally efficiently carrying out a police operation,
arresting two suspects, for which the US District Court for the Southern District of New York had
issued an arrest warrant for smuggling 200 kilograms of cocaine and weapons.
The code name of this international operation, which was carried out with the Special State
Prosecutor's Office and the Police and Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Croatia. The operation
focussed on detecting, suppressing and intercepting the international drug smuggling chain. During
its conduct on the territory of Montenegro and Croatia 87 kg of various drugs were found in several
separate seizures. This resulted in criminal charges against 6 people in Montenegro and 10 in
In cooperation with the DEA, a citizen of Turkey was arrested in Podgorica on 9 September 2016 to
conduct criminal proceedings before the US investigating authorities for drug and arms trafficking.
On the same day, several more persons were arrested in Hungary, who were identified as
accomplices of this Turkish citizen.
In 2016, three significant operations, each for 7 or more months, Fiks, Paketic, Kanal, were carried
out against criminal groups dealing with smuggling and drug distribution in the streets in three
different regions of Montenegro, Niksic, Podgorica and Herceg Novi. As a result of this more than
60 persons were investigated and charged for criminal offences and misdemeanour.
No police operations against drug production were reported. There was no case of synthetic drugs
lab in Montenegro.
Statistical data for 2016 and January to October 2017
In 2016 188 criminal offences in relation with narcotic drugs were identified in the territory of
Montenegro. 155 criminal charges with 194 suspects were submitted to competent Prosecutor.
During 2016, 451 charges were submitted against 458 persons for 458 misdemeanors referred to in
Article 52, par. 1, item 5 in conjunction with Article 45, par. 1 of Law on prevention of narcotic
drugs abuse. 2,817.563 kg of narcotic drugs were found in 815 individual seizures.
TYPE AND QUANTITY OF SEIZED DRUGS IN 2016
- buprenofin kom
- ekstazi komada
- LSD kom
- diazepam kom
- plants marihuana
- seeds marihuane
The value of drugs seized in 2016 amounts to about EUR 12 mio. in illegal "street" narcotics.
TYPE AND QUANTITY OF SEIZED DRUGS FROM JANUARY TO OCTOBER 2017
From January to October 2017 officers of the Drug Control Department undertook 737 seizures
with a total amount of drugs found of 3,044.815,56 grams, 10 blotter, and 819 pieces of tablets.
Other farm products
Bilateral and multilateral cooperation
Montenegro regularly cooperates on drug issues with the following countries and institutions:
France (MILDECA-Interministerial Mission to Combat Drugs and Addictive Behaviours), Italy,
Slovenia, Hungary, EUROPOL, European Commission-TAIEX. The country als actively
participates in the work of the following international bodies in the field of drug policy: European
Agency for Monitoring Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDAA), Reitox Network (Réseau Européen
d’Information sur les Drogues et les Toxicomanies), Council of Europe-Pompidou Group, Office on
Drugs and Crime of the United Nations (UNODC), Paris Pact Initiative, and South Eastern
European Adriatic Addiction Treatment Network (SEEA.NET).
Vacancies in key authorities hamper the work of all relevant institutions; therefore, training which
is provided by partners to the Antidrug Unit needs to be carefully coordinated and targeted to ensure
that the limited number of staff remain focussed on casework. Training for employees in the health
sector would be a prioritized need for external assistance.
Mini-Dublin Group recommendations
• Strengthening of existing capacities as well as reporting capabilities
• Increasing of the number of personnel in the central Anti-drugs Unit
• Building bigger capacity for storage of seized drugs or change of legislation
Report by the Belgrade Mini-Dublin Group
The Report by the Belgrade Mini-Dublin Group on the situation and the developments in Serbia in
the fight against drugs and drug trafficking was coordinated by the Embassy of Austria.
Organized drug trafficking and smuggling remains the most widely spread form of organized crime
in the Republic of Serbia. The geographic position of the Republic of Serbia still provides to
organized criminal groups the shortest land route between countries where narcotic drug is
produced and countries of final destination, where distribution is performed. The so-called „Balkan
route“ is still the most popular and most frequently used route for narcotics smuggling. Narcotics
smuggled by this route are usually destined for the market of Western Europe, while a smaller part
remains in the domestic market.
Heroin sold in the domestic market predominantly originates from Тurkеy; however in the last few
years „deliveries“ also from FYROM, Kosovo and Metohija have been activated. Apart from the
„Balkan route“, the direction via Bulgaria and Romania and further towards EU countries is used,
mainly because of more liberal border controls.
Heroin prices have not significantly changed in comparison to last year and are about 20,000.00 €
per kilo, primarily depending on its quality, since after its arrival to the domestic market heroin is
mixed with other substances to generate larger quantities. The supply of heroin to the Serbian
market is usually done by:
• Organized criminal groups from the territory of AP Kosovo and Metohija
• Albanian organized criminal groups from the direction of FYROMa, region of Bujanovac and
Preševo, citizens of the Republic of Serbia from region of Sandžak
• Organized criminal groups from the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria
In the course of 2016, there were no big individual seizures of heroin, which was a characteristic of
previous years; instead there were mainly smaller individual seizures.
When it comes to the smuggling of cocaine, there was also in 2016 a distinctive involvement of
Serbian citizens who organized supply and transport directly from South America towards the
Western European countries. Apart from criminal offences related to narcotic drugs, members of
these organized criminal groups also take part in murders of members of rivaling groups, which are
usually caused by prevalence in the narco market, or blood revenge. The “settling of accounts”
between rival gangs are mostly in connection with cocaine drug business outside Serbia. Money
laundering is the second segment linked to organized criminal groups involved in smuggling of
narcotic drugs, and it is mirrored primarily in construction as well as the purchase of real estate,
expensive cars and companies.
In 2016, the Police Unit SBPOK did not have bigger seizures of cocaine, neither on the territory of
Serbia nor in the framework of international cooperation; however, after a longer period OCGs
whose modus operandi was to use so called „mules“ or „swallowers“ for the transport of cocaine
intended for the market of UAE, precisely Dubai, were arrested. There was an increase in the
entering of this narcotic drug to Serbian territory in separate transports between 1 and 10 kg. The
current price per kilo of cocaine in Serbia is around 35,000.00 - 40,000.00 €, depending, again, on
Маrijuana was predominant again in 2016 when it comes to psychoactive controlled substances.
The main directions have not changed and it is mainly smuggled from the territory of Albania,
Montenegro and АP Кosovo and Мetohija. Seizures of illegal laboratories for the production of the
narcotic drug „skunk“ happen more often on the territory of Serbia. Equipment in these laboratories
ranges from home production to well equipped laboratories according to highest standards. It is
expected that the trend of growing marijuana in artificial conditions (home-grown) will continue
since the Serbian market is still suitable for its distribution, and there is also an international market
which is of interest for Serbian OCGs.
Another trend observed in 2016 was that Serbian OCGs increasingly organize and transfer the
process of home-growing of marijuana to the territory of EU countries. The prices of modified
marijuana range from 1.200 to 1.500 € per kilo.
Synthetic Drugs and Precursors
In the last few years the synthetic drugs market expanded into the Republic of Serbia, which is
demonstrated by an increasing number of seizures and identification of laboratories intended for the
production of this kind of drug. Up to now, procurement of synthetic narcotics usually went from
Western Europe countries to Serbia; at present the situation is changing and a part of the produced
narcotics intended for the domestic market is being shipped to EU countries.
On the territory of the Republic of Serbia there were no big seizures of precursors used in the
production of psychoactive controlled substances, but there are some operational information on the
involvement of Serbian citizens in organization of its procurement and transportation.
In the framework of the Criminal Police Directorate excellent cooperation has been established with
police officers from the National Forensic Centre, with whom all activities related to operational
investigations on synthetic drugs and precursors are coordinated. This also led to the establishment
of a multi-sectoral team in the Ministry of Interior for entrance to illegal laboratories. Each year on
several occasions, training is being organized at the Educational Centre of the Ministry of Interior in
Goč mountain, intended for education of police officers and other interested parties dealing with
In the fight against narcotics smuggling international cooperation on an every-day level with liaison
officers and representatives of INTERPOL, EUROPOL and SELEC plays a significant role.
In 2016 the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia performed 7.798 seizures of psychoactive
controlled substances in the following amount:
Marijuana 3.445,00 kg
Hashish 6,50 kg
Amphetamine 23,80 kg
Cocaine 18,30 kg
ca. 22,00 kg
From January to October 2017 the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia performed the
following seizures in the fight against narcotic trafficking:
Cannabis 2,539.414,785 Gram and 120.008 pieces
МDМА 390 Gram
16.817,85 Gram and 239 tablets
Hashisch 1.496,48 Gram
Cocaine 8.613,22 Gram
Legislative and Institutional Framework
In the fight against drugs in accordance with chapter 24, subchapter „Cooperation in the area of
naroctics“, proposals are submitted for amending and supplementing the Law on Psychoactive
Controlled Substances and the Law on Substances used in Illegal Production of Synthetic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances, which are expected to be adopted in 2017.
In 2016, although already officially formed in 2013, the Service for the Prevention of Narcomania
and Suppression of Narcotics Smuggling finally reached its operational level by staffing its
capacities, which contributed to better results by the Ministry of Interior.
Apart from the above mentioned institutions, the Office for the Fight Against Drugs within the
Government of the Republic of Serbia strenghtened its personal capacities and started to take over
more and more activities in relation to the coordination of the work of all state institutions and non-
government organizations dealing with these problems.
A UNODC officer commented in this regard that this Office has not yet started engaging visibly
with international organizations in Serbia, for example in the area of information sharing.