Police agencies in Spain seized 20.7 tonnes of cocaine and 325.5 tonnes of hashish in 2012. The amount of cocaine seized was roughly 25 percent higher than the amount seized in 2011. The amount of hashish was down 8.5 percent from 2011.
The amount of cocaine seized in Spain represented 41 percent of all cocaine and 73 percent of all hashish seized in Europe in 2012.
Source: AFP, “Spain fights to lose status as drug gateway to Europe,” Google News, April 22, 2013.
In 2011, authorities in the European Union seized 2.1 million counterfeit toys. According to a breakdown by Toy News, five countries in the EU accounted for 57 percent of those seizures.
Top five EU member states where fake toys were seized in 2011:
1. Romania: 319,174 counterfeit toys seized.
2. Germany: 308,506 counterfeit toys seized.
3. France: 212,273 counterfeit toys seized.
4. Spain: 193,149 counterfeit toys seized.
5. Bulgaria: 181,838 counterfeit toys seized.
Source: Dominic Sacco, “Romania is counterfeit toy capital of Europe,” Toy News, April 18, 2013.
Security personnel at Madrid-Barajas Airport detained 398 people for attempting to smuggle drugs into Spain.
A total of 45 million passengers traveled through the airport in 2012.
Source: AFP, “Police seize cocaine in luggage at Madrid airport,” GlobalPost, March 20, 2013.
Electronic book piracy in Spain caused the book industry to lose up to $467 Million (€350 Million) in revenue, according to a report by the Federation of Publishers’ Associations and the ISBN Agency of Spain.
Book publishing in Spain is a €3 Billion industry.
Source: “Piracy Taking Big Bite out of Books in Spain?,” Digital Book World, January 22, 2013.
The Justice Ministry of Brazil reported that it has found around 500 people who have been victims of human trafficking between 2005 and 2012.
Out of the total number of victims, 337 involved sexual exploitation.
The victims were trafficked out of Brazil and were operating in Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
(See human trafficking prices)
The Justice Ministry stated that over half of the human trafficking networks were managed by women who deceived the victims.
Source: EFE, “Some 500 Brazilians have been victims of people trafficking since 2005,” Fox News Latino, October 16, 2012.
A study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, cocaine use in cities in Switzerland is among the highest in Europe.
Everyday, up to 1.5 grams of cocaine is consumed by every 1,000 citizens in the Swiss cities of Bern, Geneva, Lucerne and Zurich.
In other European cities such as Barcelona, London, Milan and Paris, between 0.5 to 1 grams of cocaine is used by every 1,000.
Norther European cities had the lowest reported levels of cocaine use, with Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki registering 0.15 grams of cocaine use daily per 1,000 residents.
Across Europe, up to 356 kilograms of cocaine is consumed each day, which is 10 to 15 percent of the total global cocaine consumption.
Source: AFP, “Cocaine use in Swiss cities among highest in Europe: report,” Google News, August 6, 2012.
In an interview with the BBC, a pickpocket working in the Spanish city of Barcelona claimed that he is able to make up to $6,132 (5,000 Euros) a week by pickpocketing tourists. They take cameras, cell phones and laptops and send them back to Romania where the merchandise is sold on the black market.
There are about 50 Romanian pickpockets working in Barcelona.
Source: Chris Rogers, “Olympics: Pickpockets show off ‘one-second theft’,” BBC News, July 18, 2012.
In 2011, an estimated 65 Billion cigarettes were smoked in the European Union that was smuggled and purchased on the black market.The black market cigarettes caused a loss of tax revenue of $1.2 Billion (1 Billion Euros) for the EU budget and up to $11 Billion in lost tax revenue for EU member states.
Sales of black market cigarettes in Spain increased by 300 percent in 2011, with 4.6 Billion cigarettes being sold illegally. In Ireland, the market for smuggled cigarettes was 17 percent of the total cigarette market in 2011.
Worldwide, cigarette smuggling causes losses in tax revenue of $50 Billion.
Source: Stephen Castle and Doreen Carvajal, “Europe’s Downturn Creates Unlikely Smugglers,” New York Times, July 11, 2012.
Spain’s Tobacconist Association stated that contraband sales of cigarettes accounted for 7 to 8 percent of the cigarette market in the country in 2011, up from virtually zero the year before. The rise in cigarette smuggling is attributed to a rise in tobacco taxes and a ban in smoking in public places.
The smuggling of contraband cigarettes is estimated to have caused tobacco tax collection to be 14 percent lower than estimated forecasts.
Source: Manuel Baigorri, “Smugglers Prosper in Spain’s ‘Perfect Storm’ for Tobacco,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, February 8, 2012.
In the first nine months of 2011, Custom Officers in Spain stopped 2,899 people from bringing in illegal cigarettes into the country from Gibraltar.
The number of cigarette smugglers attempting to enter Spain from Gibraltar has been increasing every year. 2,112 people were stopped from smuggling cigarettes into Spain in 2010, and 1,226 people were stopped in 2009. In 2008, the number of smugglers who were stopped by Custom Officers was 985.
In 2011, around 225 million illegal cigarettes and several tons of tobacco was seized by police in Spain. The cigarette smuggling activities were bringing the contraband cigarettes into the United Kingdom.
Source: “Smuggling on the rise between Gibraltar and Spain,” Olive Press, January 16, 2012.
Source: “Cigarette smuggling crackdown in Spain,” Olive Press,” December 18, 2011.