Question 26 February 2019 Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD)
Subject: Possible online purchase of drugs from the drugs-center.biz site
The drugs-center.biz site encourages and conducts the online sale of a wide range of drugs, some of which are extremely harmful, ranging from Cannabis to cocaine, LSD, ecstasy and heroin.
Its website reads as follows: ‘Drugs-center is your favourite supplier for any illegal drug. You will love our experience and high quality products’. It also gives a number of insights regarding methods of shipping illegal drugs (from the United States, Gibraltar and Spain, according to the website) to a number of European countries in disguised packaging and circumventing customs controls.
It appears that the platform is being allowed to operate unhindered from Gibraltar in brazen defiance of all civil and criminal law.
In view of this:
Is the Commission aware of this situation?
If so, what specific countermeasures will it take?
What legislative or other measures will it take to safeguard the health of European citizens, especially children, and prevent the emergence of similar situations in future?
Answer 12 April Commissioner Avramopoulos
The European Commission is aware of the fact that drugs are sold online, both on the open internet and on the darknet, and is following carefully developments in this regard.
“The internet and drug markets” report published in 2016 by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the “European Union Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment” published in 2017, the “European Drug Report 2018” as well as the joint report “Drugs and the darknet: perspectives for enforcement, research and policy” conclude that online sales are currently small in relation to the overall illicit drug market but they appear to be growing.
Tackling online trading of drugs is thus one of the strategic goals of the EU’s comprehensive anti-drugs policy formulated in the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020 and the EU Drug Action Plan 2017-2020. The EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan provide for an effective framework to respond to the use of new communication technologies in the production, marketing, purchasing and distribution of illicit drugs and new psychoactive substances at national and EU level.
Initiatives of Member States in this field are coordinated within the EU Policy Cycle for organised and serious international crime that aims to tackle such crime in a coherent and structured manner. Europol is organising regular Joint Action Days and cyber patrolling to increase the number of arrests and disruption opportunities with the objective to counter the evolving criminality.
 The EU Policy Cycle improves and strengthens co-operation between the relevant services of the Member States, EU institutions and EU agencies as well as third countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant.