Thriving heroin trade sparks usage worries
Spanish authorities insist there is no increase in heroin usage in the country despite police raids uncovering large amounts of smuggled heroin.11 August 2008
MADRID - Although authorities deny an upwards trend in heroin use in Spain, recent police operations point to a thriving trade in the drug in the Iberian Peninsula.
One such case was the seizure by police on 1 August of 316.5 kilograms of heroin on board a boat at Sitges, in Barcelona province. This is significantly more than the 197 kilograms seized throughout 2007.
The August shipment sailed in from Turkey, according to police sources.
Francisco Migueláñez, chief commissioner of the national police narcotics brigade, said that most of the heroin that enters Spain comes from Afghanistan and is shipped by Turkish criminal rings, who export it throughout Europe.
The 2007 National Drug Plan report showed a sharp rise in heroin use among 14-18 year olds recently, although authorities insist that there has not been a notable rise in use in Spain overall.
[El Pais / Pablo Linde / Expatica]
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