Cocaine and cannabis smuggling received setback in 2019 – data


The psychotropic drug Khat, popular among drug users around 2010 seems to have disappeared from the Customs seizures lists. In data published as part of a parliamentary reply on drug seizures by Customs between 2013 to date, Minister Edward Scicluna tabled a seizure of 1,155kg of Khat in 2013. By 2017 this dwindled to 2kg, indicating that the use of Khat, like that of Exctacy, seemed to have declined.

Customs seize €15.7m in cocaine at the Freeport

The situation with cocaine is different. In 2013, 2.7kg of cocaine were seized. In comparison, in the first nine months of this year, 750kg were seized with an estimated value of over €73 million. Cannabis too saw an increased detection by customs. From 88.5 gr seized in 2013, in 2018, almost 16,000kg were seized with an estimated value of  €28 million.

€10.3 million in cocaine seized in 19-hour operation by Customs

In April, a cocaine haul with an estimated street value of €2.7 million was seized by customs officials at the Freeport Terminal.

Officials explained that the 20 packets weighing a total of 24kgs were found during checks on a number of containers passing through the port on that day.

It is understood that the container which was hiding the drugs was on route to Tirana, Albania from South America.

The discovery came less than two days after Customs officials discovered 91.2kg of cocaine in a previous investigation.

Customs officials seize over €10m in cocaine at Freeport

According to officials, in the first14 weeks of 2019, the Customs department has managed to find just over half a tonne of cocaine (515.2kgs) worth €58 million.

This is almost double the total amount seized during last year (287.4kgs).

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