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Record quantity of drugs sent by mail in 2018

Mailed package containing narcotics.
Mailed package containing narcotics. Source: (Estonian Tax and Customs Board)

The Tax and Customs Board (MTA) intercepted altogether 742 parcels containing narcotic substances, which is a new record and indicative of the new and growing trend of ordering drugs online, ERR's Russian-language news portal wrote on Friday.

Most of the substances in question are ordered on the so-called darknet, a part of the Internet not accessible to the most common brand of Internet user. Transactions involve cryptocurrency, and personal data is typically not requested. The most popular products ordered this way are cannabis products, amphetamines, ecstasy and LSD.

According to the head of the MTA's drugs department, Raul Koppelmaa, what is needed is a modernisation of legislation to tackle the issue.

"Of course this is a very painful question, and many people don't realise this, but this is a rapidly growing trend. I think that if we don't do this now, in three or four years we'll hardly be able to do anything at all against it," Mr Koppelmaa said.

According to Meelis Saarepuu, in charge of the criminal investigations division of the South police prefecture of the Police and Border Guard (PPA), the option to order via mail is making drugs more accessible again, especially to youngsters.

"The latest trends in the drug market show that more and more young people are getting their hands on drugs via the Internet. Drugs reach those people that wouldn't have access to them in the ordinary market," Mr Saarepuu said.

Mr Koppelmaa also pointed out that the age group of those ordering drugs online is 16 to 30-year-olds.

Mail delivery of drugs is difficult to control. In terms of punishment, the Penal Code's drug-related legislation applies, which in this case means a maximum of 10 to 15 years imprisonment.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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