Throughout Europe, drug trafficking is on the rise, and cocaine sales have increased significantly. According to Europol data, there have never been as many coca plantations worldwide as there are today. As a result, the narcotic that had previously been known as the "rich man's drug" has finally become affordable in Estonia as well.
Increasing drug trafficking has made narcotics more affordable, and access to them is easier than before thanks to the internet age, reported ETV news broadcast Aktuaalne kaamera.
Ago Leis, director of the Organized Crime Department of the Central Criminal Police, said that European trends are Estonian trends as well. "The influence arrives with a certain delay, but looking at the latest Europol narcotics report, the quantities of seized marijuana and cocaine are on the rise," he said.
As the drug trade is the most profitable criminal business in the world, criminal organizations are very interested in increasing narcotics production, Leis said. Thus marijuana growing has increased in Africa, while several new coca plantations have been established in South America in recent years. Major countries' drug markets are oversaturated, leaving sellers to seek buyers elsewhere, such as in Estonia.
Cocaine's street price in Estonia has remained by and large the same, however the drug itself is several times more potent than it used to be.
"Recent years' cocaine seizures have been very pure, with purities of over 90 percent, and we have noticed that the number of users is also somewhat increasing," Leis noted.
While cocaine was previously considered the "rich man's drug," by now it can be found at regular parties, festivals and bars, he added.
Tax and Customs Board (MTA) Narcotics Division director Raul Koppelmaa said that the customs authority seized some 15 kilograms of cocaine last year, the biggest amount yet in recent years. "But our target isn't amounts, but rather the people behind them as well," he said.
According to Koppelmaa, Estonia remains a transit country for narcotics from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium heading toward Russia and Scandinavia.
"We're seeing a great deal of the direction of a lot of amphetamine being taken to Finland," he said. "Last year, we seized some 100 kilograms of amphetamine en route to the Finnish market."
Also likewise increasing in popularity in Estonia in recent years is ordering narcotics on the dark web, primarily for personal use.
Editor: Aili Vahtla