World May 8, 2023 | 11:33 am

Organized crime grows in Europe driven by drug trafficking, according to Interpol alert

Interpol has warned that organized crime is growing rapidly in Europe, fuelled by “historic levels of drug trafficking,” and poses a “direct threat” to state authority in many European countries. At its 50th European regional conference, which began on Monday, the supranational security organization called for strengthening “international police cooperation to face the growing threat posed by organized crime networks.” The organization also noted that its studies show that money laundering and cybercrime are among the priority problems for the security forces of European member countries.

As the Secretary General of Interpol, Jürgen Stock, also warned, “in the last five years, drug trafficking and consumption” have increased on a large scale, and “Europe is one of the main transit and destination markets.” In addition, the global nature of organized crime networks highlights the importance of “international cooperation,” with the supranational security organization frequently being the “only means” to “bring fugitives into the hands of justice or to gather essential information.”

The conference in Ohrid, western North Macedonia, brings together around 150 participants from 53 countries in Europe and some nations outside of it. Interpol stated that there is evidence that the levels of violence related to these criminal networks are also increasing. A particularly worrying figure is that 76% of European police respondents expect online child sexual exploitation and abuse to increase or increase significantly in the next three to five years. North Macedonia is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a member of Interpol this year.

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