Spanish and Serbian authorities have dismantled a large-scale drug trafficking community via a joint investigation team (JIT). In each nations, 43 members of a Serbian organised crime group have been arrested for his or her involvement in producing and distributing marijuana and cannabis.
Throughout a serious motion day in Serbia and Spain on 28 June 2021 and through interventions towards the organised crime group in January, the Spanish Guardia Civil and the Serbian Police carried out 19 searches and seized over 17 000 marijuana crops, over 880 kilos of marijuana buds, and at the least 130 kilos of produced marijuana and cannabis resins. Roughly EUR 250 000 in money was additionally seized.
Europol’s and Eurojust’s help of Operation Mitikas
Europol, as a platform for European policing options, was concerned within the case since March 2020. All through 2020 and early 2021, European Severe and Organised Crime Centre (ESOCC) of Europol supported Operation MITIKAS via the Medication Unit by cross-checking data acquired, offering analytical help, and facilitating the coordination of the data trade between Spain and Serbia. Two Europol specialists have been deployed to Spain and Serbia geared up with a cellular workplace and a Common Forensic Extraction System. Data gathered throughout the operation was analysed and exchanged in real-time and instantly cross-matched towards Europol’s databases.
Eurojust, the European Union Company for Prison Justice Cooperation initiated the cross-border judicial cooperation in November 2020, resulting in the establishing of the primary JIT between Spain and Serbia. It was the primary time the Spanish authorities had initiated a JIT with a 3rd nation.
Operation Mitikas was developed within the framework of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) and the operational motion plan on cross-border drug trafficking sourced by large-scale natural hashish manufacturing within the EU.
The hashish market within the European Union
The hashish market stays the biggest drug market within the EU, and hashish trafficking will stay a major supply of revenue for a variety of legal networks. The commerce in hashish but in addition in different medication corresponding to cocaine and artificial medication is a key risk to the EU as a result of ranges of violence related, the multibillion euro income generated and the substantial hurt brought on by it.
Natural hashish is extensively produced throughout the EU, with estimates indicating that at the least 20 000 cultivation websites are dismantled annually, and is a serious supply of revenue for the legal economic system. Though natural hashish is produced in every EU Member State, this is probably not adequate to fulfill native demand; subsequently, intra-EU trafficking exists because it has been proven in Operation Mitikas.