TRIESTE – In 2021, drug trafficking in Friuli Venezia Giulia grew dramatically and highlights a merciless photograph of a territory where practically everything arrives, is sold and consumed. The confirmation of what the investigators and the police have been claiming for some time comes from the annual report drawn up by the Central Directorate of the Viminale Anti-Drug Services, presented today 24 June in Rome. Comparing 2020 with the previous year, drug blitzes (and therefore the presence on the streets and the sale) increase for almost every substance. In our region there are “substantial increases in quantities” both for cocaine and heroin. Looking at the overall figure, drug seizures in the region grow by almost 150 percent compared to 2020.
Bianca, ero and ganja: the details
In detail, the “white” kidnappings grew by almost 270 percent (from 44 kilograms to 162), while heroin recorded a real boom with a percentage variation of almost 400 percent (it went from the seizure of 1 , 68 kilograms in 2020 to over eight kilograms the following year). Marijuana is also growing (seizures up by 40 percent) and plant seizures (with a variation of just under 30 percent). Numbers that would make even more impression, were it not that between 2020 and 2021 there was a decrease in anti-drug operations carried out in the territory of almost 9 percent. The positive news (which hides a reasoning about the change in high), is that the seizures of synthetic drugs are decreasing by about 25 percent, as well as the complaints that undergo a drop of 8.7 percent (523 against over 570 of 2020).
Complaints: nationalities and places
The complaints mainly involve citizens of Italian nationality, but foreigners who end up in the network of law enforcement agencies grow by four percent. The same goes for minors who enter the narcotics sector and are reported to the regional prefectures (+15 percent), while the deaths recorded due to drugs drop by one unit (12 compared to 13 in 2020). The data speak for themselves and tell of a region that is crossed by two main trading routes. The first is the maritime one, with the port of Trieste cited as one of the traffic corridors for heroin which, through Egypt and then Greece, lands in Italy; the second, on the other hand, which evidently does not only accompany migrants, is the Balkan one. However, Friuli Venezia Giulia seems to disappear from the radar when it comes to anti-drug operations and kidnappings.
The kidnappings are on the rise, down the anti-drug operations
In relation to the national figure, our region sees only 1.64 percent of drug operations, 0.41 percent of seized substances and 1.74 percent of people reported to the judicial authorities. In fact, 349 anti-drug operations carried out in 2021, with over 350 kilograms seized. The exponential growth of drug trafficking is also confirmed by a fact that, for temporal reasons, does not find space in the relationship. The seizure of over four tons of cocaine carried out by the Finance Gaurdia, coordinated by the District Anti-Mafia Directorate, tells of a territory that is literally flooded with drugs. Yet, if we look at Trieste, something is not right.
What happens in Trieste?
In fact, despite having the main Italian port, only 3.17 percent of the drugs confiscated in Friuli Venezia Giulia are seized in the regional capital. In 2021, there were 95 anti-drug operations and the reported (trafficking and dealing) on the regional territory correspond to 1.74 percent of the entire country. Nothing compared to what the market is holding up. But who is in charge among the foreigners? The underworld linked to drug trafficking, if analyzed from the point of view of complaints, draws a podium entirely in the Levant. First for complaints are Pakistani citizens, according to Afghans, Albanians third. The latter, throughout the national territory, are particularly active in the cocaine trafficking but are leaders “in the management of the heroin trafficking along the Balkan route, still today the main channel of incoming flows on the national territory”. They work well with the Maghrebians, and do not disdain the sale of marijuana. It all passes through the Balkans, where the Turks play a fundamental role.
“The main point of connection for the heroin trafficking that supplies European markets”, the Balkan drug route is managed by the PKK, a party of Kurdish workers and a para-military formation. “According to information from the Turkish Police Authorities – writes the Interior Ministry -, the PKK currently produces and refines substances, such as heroin, in the laboratories of Northern Iraq and in the villages of neighboring countries, subsequently managing the traffic and distribution in Europe, through groups of affiliates and supporters. This terrorist organization has already been involved in every phase of drug production for several years “. The percentage of drugs that institutions and governments traditionally manage to seize is around 10 percent. “In Trieste you can find heroin without problems – thus a young woman from Trieste, who asked for anonymity -, in Piazza Garibaldi, at the beginning of Viale XX Settembre, at the home of drug dealers, in the station. There are boys and girls who they prostitute themselves, which they do already at 13, 14, and who get high all the time. It’s easy to do, drugs are everywhere “.