EU report: Illicit drug sales moved online during lockdowns

MADRID (AP) — An annual drug trends report concludes that illegal drug production on European soil increased during the coronavirus pandemic last year as lockdowns helped move drug sales from streets to encrypted online platforms. The 2021 European Drug Report says criminal groups adapted to travel restrictions and border closures by relying less on human couriers and turning instead to shipping containers and commercial supply chains to smuggle illicit substances. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction based the report released Wednesday on data from the European Union’s 27 member countries, Turkey and Norway. The EU’s home affairs commissioner says “the highly pure and potent substances” found in the surveyed countries are a special concern.