Measures against production and trafficking of synthetic drugs in Europe

In accordance with the implementation plan on actions to be taken in regard to the supply of synthetic drugs, the Commission, in cooperation with Europol, prepared a report in December 2003 describing the current status of major multilateral projects on the mapping of distribution networks and of experiences gained in this field at EU level, in the Member States and in candidate countries. The report pointed out the key elements in such projects that appear to be essential to the achievement of operational benefits. It also concluded that there is ‘potential benefit of combining information and intelligence from a variety of synthetic drug related areas within an inclusive and integrated strategy.’

In December 2004, Europol merged Projects CASE and Genesis to form project Synergy, comprising an analytical work file (AWF) supported by 20 Member States and some third states, the Europol Illicit Laboratory Comparison System (EILCS) and the Europol Ecstasy Logo System (EELS). The project continues to support the Comprehensive Action against Synthetic Drugs in Europe (CASE), a Swedish initiative on amphetamine profiling, plus the European Joint Unit on Precursors (EJUP), comprising experts from six Member States.

The AWF component provides for the collection and analysis of high-level synthetic drug- and precursor-related criminal intelligence. Priority is given to investigating criminal groups and/or significant modus operandi.

The EILCS collates photographic and technical information from synthetic drug production sites and related chemical waste dumps, enabling the investigation of links between seized equipment, materials and chemicals, initiating information exchange, back-tracking investigations, forensic examination for evidential purposes plus the identification and targeting of facilitators and associated criminal groups. Europol, via the EILCS, is the European focal point for Project Prism – Equipment, the United Nations INCB global back-tracking programme on tableting machines and other synthetic drug production equipment.

The EELS collates modus operandi photographic and basic forensic information on significant seizures, enabling the identification of matches between seizures, and with seized punches, initiating law enforcement information exchange, further investigation and forensic profiling for evidential purposes and the targeting of criminal groups.

The Europol Synthetic Drug Production Equipment Catalogue and Europol Ecstasy Logo Catalogue are updated and published on a regular basis.