Drug trafficking is increasing in Germany. "We see a great demand for drugs in Germany," said the Vice President of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), Martina Link, on Thursday in Wiesbaden. There are many criminal groups who deal in drugs on a large scale. This is a serious problem in Germany. Overall, the number of nationwide drug offenses in 2021 fell by 1.3 percent compared to the previous year.
Drug trafficking and drug smuggling are the main sources of income for organized crime, Link said. Almost half of these groups are active in the field of internationally organized drug trafficking.
According to the BKA, around 56,000 of the around 361,000 drug offenses registered in 2021 were related to drug trafficking. This is an increase of 2.9 percent compared to the previous year, explained Link. Almost 48,000 suspects have been identified because of the illegal drug trade in Germany. Overall, the total number of suspects in connection with drug offenses - i.e. also because of possession and acquisition - fell slightly year-on-year to almost 281,000 people.
Most cannabis-related offenses
The largest number of drug offenses detected last year, at almost 60 percent, were related to cannabis. The proportion was around ten percent for amphetamine and around six percent for cocaine, while heroin and crystal accounted for around three percent, the investigator explained at the presentation of the "Federal Report on Drug Crime 2021".
The drug is not only offered and traded in the classic way on the street, but increasingly also on the Internet. The perpetrators mainly used the Darknet, but also social media sites and messenger services. This trend has continued to stabilize in the second year of the corona pandemic and is making criminal prosecution very complex, reported the BKA Vice President.
The perpetrators made billions in profits from the international drug trade. These illegal profits would either be reinvested in the drug business. Or the money flows into the legal economy and in real estate, gastronomy or arcades, the investigator explained. "Without the great demand for drugs, the illegal trade would not be as lucrative as it is," emphasized Link, also pointing out the high level of violence in organized crime.
1,826 deaths from drug addiction
1826 people died in Germany last year as a result of their drug addiction. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office, this corresponds to an increase of 15.5 percent year-on-year. The main causes of death were the use of heroin and opiate substitution drugs.
"We must do more to ensure that people do not even resort to dangerous drugs, or, if they do, get off them again," warned the federal government's addiction and drug commissioner, Burkhard Blienert. "That's why we need really comprehensive addiction prevention in Germany that keeps what it promises." The demand for drugs must be reduced. There must be nationwide and sufficiently financed advisory services. More advice should also be offered on the Internet.