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Europol reports Mexican cartels responsible for European fentanyl production

Mexico City, Mexico — Members of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation say Mexican drug cartels have been detected in Europe. The law enforcement agency says that although they have not found large amounts of fentanyl, they know Mexican cartels are responsible for its production.

“We are concerned with fentanyl. We still do not see it in large quantities in the European territory, but we are concerned because we know that these Mexican cartels are responsible for the production of fentanyl for North America,” reported Catherine De Bolle, executive director of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol).

De Bolle’s comments were part of a Europol presentation on a report on the expansion of drug trafficking. The quantities of cocaine seized in European ports “has never been as high as in the last four years,” said De Bolle linking the use of fentanyl with cocaine. She says that Europe “faces a growing threat from a more diversified and dynamic drug market.”

Alexis Goosdeel, Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said “since the opening of peace negotiations with FARC and the Colombian government (…) we have seen a dramatic increase in cocaine production in Colombia,” adding that “there has been an improvement in chemical processing” along with the volume of drugs being produced.

“On various occasions, tons of methamphetamine produced in South America have been seized in the European Union. In most cases, it came from Mexico,” De Bolle explained.

“The reality we all know is that the EU is not just a destination area for drug trafficking. It is also an important region of origin and a region of transit,” De Bolle added during their videoed press conference.

From 2010 to 2020, they said there has been a 477 percent increase in methamphetamine seizures in Europe.

“On several occasions, tons of methamphetamine produced in the Americas have been seized in the EU, and most of the time, it came from Mexico. A worrying trend that we see are specialist chemists operating in the Americas that have also been active in the European Union in the last year,” De Bolle explained.

According to the report prepared by Europol and the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Mexican cartels are operating with criminal groups from the European Union to produce methamphetamine and cocaine, two drugs commonly mixed with fentanyl by users.