Thursday, 23 March 2023

An Insight into Croatian Cocaine Snorting Habits - They Like it on Fridays

March 23, 2023 - Cocaine use has increased across Europe, a study of wastewater across the European Union has found. The study analyzed samples collected during a one-week period between March and April last year for traces of cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA/ecstasy, ketamine and cannabis. What about Croatian cocaine snorting habits, though? It seems they like it most on Fridays.

As 24Sata / Reuters report, the highest levels of drug residues were found in Belgium, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.

The study, which was largest to date, was conducted by the Lisbon-based European drug monitoring agency EMCDDA. The study analyzed daily wastewater in the catchment areas of treatment plants serving around 54 million people in 104 European cities.

They analyzed samples collected over a one-week period between March and April last year for traces of cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, MDMA/ecstasy, ketamine and cannabis and found that drug use was higher than in previous studies.

"Today's findings, from a record 104 cities, paint a picture of a drug problem that is both widespread and complex, with all six substances detected in almost all locations", said EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel.

The results showed a "continued increase in cocaine detections," a trend seen since 2016, and more cities reporting traces of methamphetamine.

More than half of the 66 European cities with data for 2021 and 2022 saw an increase in cocaine residues.

Ketamine was included in the analysis for the first time in 2022 due to "signs of increased availability of ketamine in Europe". The largest amount of residues was found in waste water in the cities of Denmark, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

As for Zagreb, a decrease in cocaine consumption was recorded, and the survey showed that the people of Zagreb most often take cocaine on Fridays.

If you'd like a more detailed insight, you can view the complete study here.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Rijeka Police Begin Project in Schools Tackling Topics of Addiction

September the 17th, 2022 - The Rijeka police have begun their project ''Zdrav na 5'' (Healthy for 5) in schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP), the Ministry of Health and others. They will seek to teach children in an age appropriate way about the issues of drug addiction and alcohol abuse.

As Morski writes, the praiseworthy Healthy for 5 project has been created in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy, and the Ministry of Science and Education in all elementary schools across the Republic of Croatia.

This year's educational lectures from the project "Healthy for 5" intended for eighth grade students began at the Skurinje Elementary School and included Rijeka police officers. The lecture was given by Nives Kajfes Grcko, a police officer from the Primorje-Gorski kotar Police Department.

Through this national project carried out in elementary schools, activities to prevent drug addiction and alcohol abuse among children and youth are being promoted, as are the proper development of socio-emotional skills, the teaching of the responsibility young people have in boosting and preserving their own health, and general safety.

On this occasion, police officer Nives Kajfes Grcko gave lectures for two classes of children, in which she pointed out to students the harmful consequences of alcohol consumption among young people, which not only has a negative effect on their cognitive and psycho-emotional development, but also results in many punishable behaviours that the police often encounter when it comes to young people and drinking alcohol (peer violence, fights, vandalism, traffic accidents).

As part of the implementation of the "Healthy for 5" project, these types of lectures will be held until the end of the school year in other primary schools across Primorje-Gorski kotar County.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 27 June 2022

8,951 Drug Seizures Recorded in Croatia in 2021

ZAGREB, 27 June 2022 - Last year there were 8,951 drug seizures in Croatia and a stable trend of addicts in treatment, 80% of whom were opiate addicts, the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) said on Monday on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse.

The number of new opiate addicts in treatment keeps declining and cannabis prevails among non-opiate addicts, HZJZ assistant director Željko Petković said.

In 2021, 84% of those in treatment for psychoactive drug abuse were men, while the rest were women, he added.

The average age of persons treated for drug abuse is 40.4 years, experimenting with drugs begins at 17.2 years on average, and the average age of persons seeking treatment for the first time is 28.5 years.

The HZJZ estimates there are between 7,200 and 11,547 high-risk opiate addicts in Croatia.

Last year saw an increase in seizures of cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines.

An analysis of narcotics in wastewaters in 75 cities in 23 EU member states shows that in the last decade Zagreb has been recording an increase in urine cocaine metabolites (546.82 mg per day).

The highest cannabis metabolites in wastewaters have been discovered in Croatian, Spanish, Dutch and Slovenian cities.

Maja Valentić of the HZJZ said 5,378 persons in Croatia were being treated for drug abuse in 2020, including 518 for the first time.

Of all those in treatment, 83% were addicted primarily to opiates, 10% to cannabis and 2.6% to cocaine and other stimulants, she added.

Istria and Zadar counties had the highest number of persons in treatment last year, 561 and 546, respectively.

The number of new heroin addicts in treatment keeps falling.

The HZJZ said the pandemic incited the digitalisation of the drug market.

Dražen Rastović of the police office for the suppression of corruption and organised crime said there was no drug addiction epidemic in Croatia, although the number of consumers seems to be increasing.

There are no open drug scenes nor major drug production, apart from marijuana growing, he added.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Friday, 15 April 2022

Cocaine, Weapon and Migrant Smugglers Remanded in Custody

ZAGREB, 15 April (2022) - A Zagreb County Court investigating judge on Thursday evening remanded in custody all ten members of a criminal group suspected of smuggling cocaine from South America, murdering Milan Milovac, a close associate of Serbian drug lord Darko Šarić, and smuggling military weapons and migrants.

According to unofficial sources, Petar Ćosić aka Šarac and Manuel Vulić are suspected of killing Milovac.

USKOK anti-corruption office deputy head Željka Panza Ostrogonac said six criminal groups had been under investigation in two separate cases.

All criminal groups were high-profile gangs and the arrested Croatian nationals held high positions in them, she said.

Panza Ostrogonac said that the arrest of Serbian drug lord Darko Šarić in Belgrade on Thursday had some connection to the charges regarding the murder of Milovac, a Croatian national, in Ecuador.

Without revealing the suspects' identity, the prosecutorial authorities said earlier that an investigation had been launched into two groups of criminals based on a report by PNUSKOK police anti-corruption investigators and information collected in cooperation with several countries as well as EUROJUST and EUROPOL.

USKOK said that the first group of criminals consisted of ten members aged 36-63 while the other group had four members aged 29-41.

According to media reports, the 10-member group was led by Petar Ćosić aka Šarac, who in 2011 was arrested in an operation called Dogma for smuggling 339 kilograms of cocaine and was sentenced to four years in prison.

The other, four-member group, consisting of Marko Grunov, Ivan Stilinović, Tomislav Kljaić and Amer Draganović, is suspected of smuggling cocaine from Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

The 10-member group is suspected of smuggling at least 609 kilograms of cocaine, sold for more than HRK 17 million. Some members of the group are suspected of smuggling automatic weapons, grenades, plastic explosive and pistols from Bosnia and Herzegovina to France and of smuggling 17 migrants from Croatia to Slovenia.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Drugs in Croatia: 220 Kilograms of Heroin, €17 Million of Cocaine Found

January the 12th, 2022 - Drugs in Croatia aren't often discussed as much as they are in various other European countries where there are severe addiction issues and raids which often make the headlines, such as in the United Kingdom. That said, there certainly are drug busts in Croatia very frequently, and the biggest of them all happened in the autumn of 2021.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, two stories broke about drugs in Croatia recently, and the two sagas regard two entirely unrelated actions. An enormous amount of heroin was found following the search of a ship that arrived from Iraq in the port of Ploce in southern Dalmatia. Local police found the large quantities of drugs down near Dubrovnik. More precisely, they came upon 220 kilograms of heroin, which is the largest seizure of this drug in the Republic of Croatia - ever.

A massive 62 kilograms of cocaine were also found, which would reach a value of around seventeen million euros if successfully sold on the street.

"This is the result of intensive work and cooperation of the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Administration along with the customs administration and other competent institutions, all as a continuation of an operational action in which we broke up two criminal organisations in the first six months of 2021 and reported several people.

On that occasion, a total of 700 kilograms of cocaine were seized. In the first case, related to the seizure of heroin, on October the 11th last year, a search of a container from a ship that had arrived in Croatian waters from Iraq was carried out in the Port of Ploce.

There were 250 to 300 kilograms of the drug in that container, 296 packages of drugs were found,'' said Zoran Tikvica, head of the Criminal Police Service of the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Administration, when talking about the heroin discovery.

The cocaine was found on a ship that had arrived not from Iraq but from Colombia and was otherwise transporting bulk cargo.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Croatian Police Burn Over 2 Tonnes of Narcotics

ZAGREB, 18 Oct 2021 - More than two tonnes of narcotics seized in police operations was burnt in a factory in the eastern town of Našice on Monday, including two tonnes of marijuana and hashish, 28 kilos of amphetamines, 15 kilos of cocaine, and 12 kilos of heroin, with a street value of about €9.5 million.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović said that the amount of drugs seized was proof of good cooperation between relevant state authorities. He said that drug abuse was a global problem, especially in Europe which has become the main market for some types of drugs, notably cocaine.

"The fact that this is the second drug incineration this year shows the magnitude of the challenge we are all facing. The illegal market is very large, there are many interests of criminal groups, and our job is to be as efficient as possible," Božinović said.

"The present campaign by criminal groups is the result of the opening of communications that were closed for a while due to the pandemic," he added.

Božinović said that the government's goal was to increase prevention and "lead as many young people as possible, especially those in their formative years, away from this evil."

Over the past ten years, Croatia has incinerated over 20 tonnes of seized narcotics. About 500 kilos of cocaine was incinerated in July this year.

For more on politics, click here.