On Monday, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) 50th European Regional Conference opened, raising concern over ‘historic levels’ of drug trafficking.
“Fueled by historic levels of drug trafficking, organized crime groups are increasingly posing a direct threat to state authority in many countries,” an INTERPOL release said.
And the organization warned there is evidence that violence related to these criminal networks is also increasing.
“Organized crime is a top concern,” said INTERPOL President Ahmed Naser al-Raisi at the conference’s opening ceremony.
“These transnational crimes not only threaten the safety and security of the region, but also have a spillover effect on the rest of the world,” the INTERPOL President explained.
Last month, INTERPOL announced its largest-ever firearms trafficking operations.
Officers arrested more than 14,000 suspects across Central and South America and seized an unprecedented USD 5.7 billion in illegal narcotics.
INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock disclosed that over the last five years, drug trafficking and consumption have increased.
He also revealed that Europe was one of the main transit and destination markets.
“We continue to see record seizures at European borders and ports and a corresponding rise in violent crime, corruption, and money laundering of unprecedented scale,” Stock stated.
The 8-10 May INTERPOL conference brings together more than 140 participants from 53 countries in Europe and beyond.
The participants are discussing the most pressing crime issues facing the region.
The conference is taking place in Ohrid, North Macedonia.
Headline photo: Stock image