The annual report was presented in Rome, in the “Sala De Sena” of the Central Directorate of the Criminal Police, which outlines a summary of the activities and results obtained in the fight against drug trafficking in 2020. The report was drawn up by the Central Directorate for anti-drug services, which this year celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of its establishment in 1991.
The contents were presented by the Central Anti-Drug Director, General of the Guardia di Finanza Antonino Maggiore, followed by three security experts employed in Colombia, Spain, Turkey, strategic areas for drug trafficking.
The Deputy Chief of Police – Central Director of the Criminal Police – Vittorio Rizzi concluded the event by recalling how “The Report photographs the resilience of criminal organizations to the pandemic. In 2020, after the very first phase of lockdown, illicit trafficking quickly resumed looking for new routes and ways of concealing drugs. Half of the record amount of cocaine was seized in the port of Gioia Tauro, a sort of Italian hub created by traffickers also for direct cargoes to the Balkan region. The network of international police cooperation is therefore becoming increasingly strategic as a necessary weapon to combat drug trafficking ”.
Police chief Lamberto Giannini also wanted to participate in the event, through a message, recalling how “The Central Directorate of Anti-Drug Services represents a strategic articulation of the Department of Public Security, since its inception thirty years ago. Its joint-force structure, specialization by subject and the presence of anti-drug experts abroad mean that such an important problem is constantly monitored and that the law enforcement action can be the most effective, as evidenced by the data of the 2021 Annual Report ” .
Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese also sent her message: “I thank – said the Minister – all the police forces for their constant commitment to combating drug trafficking. The balance of one year of activity testifies to the great operational effort and the intense preventive and investigative action carried out throughout the national territory which has led to an increase of more than 7% in drug seizures. The fight against drug trafficking is a priority to protect the younger generations, legality and security, to counter the criminal organizations that feed the drug dealing centers and accumulate huge illicit assets “.
Compared to the past, the distinctive feature of 2020 was the health emergency connected to the Covid-19 pandemic. The contagion containment measures adopted worldwide, having led to general restrictions on the mobility of people and a slowdown in the dynamics of international commercial traffic, have also affected the trend of drug trafficking which has always exploited the opportunities offered by the transactional movement of goods to move drug consignments.
The resumption of commercial trafficking in the second half of 2020 and the remarkable ability of criminal organizations to adapt to the changed socio-economic context, have quickly relaunched illicit trafficking after an initial slowdown.
Furthermore, in 2020 the Police Forces intercepted 33 new substances not yet “tabulated”, which will be included in the lists of prohibited substances.