A lot of Goods still slip through the Cracks
Obviously, there is much to be done in the fight against drugs. On the basis of the figures provided by Europol, it can be estimated that Europeans spend at least € 27 billion on illicit drugs each year. There are many possible explanations of the relative success of the fight against this plague. It may be said that 2 main reasons have been identified: at international level, a lack of cooperation between prosecution services; at national level, a lack of cooperation between police and custom services. But account also needs to be taken of the lack of specialized staff and a recurrent under-investment in high-tech equipments. This said, we are well aware of the scale of the task. Clearly, the Netherlands and Spain are major hub for cannabis and cocaine trafficking. Cannabis is the most frequently taken drug, with about 25 million European adults using it on a daily basis. It is also estimated that half of all the cocaine in Europe entered the EU through the port of Rotterdam. However, and to ensure objectivity, we must highlight that this port handled more than 12.5 million containers last year. It is of course not possible to check every single container.The port of Antwerp in Belgium is also often cited in criminal investigations. But it must be stressed that the port authorities reported total tonnage in 2016 reached a high of 214.4 million tonnes freight. In fact, many European maritime ports are ideal gateways for illicit drugs trafficking. Yet, the transport of goods by land-rail and road- or by air is still a major driver of such joint criminal ventures. And in this context, the explosion of online drug dealing is another matter of concern. Today, the most effective response should be massive investment in new fast-scan technologies which will always be far less costly than the disastrous consequences of this scourge on human life.