Home > Ireland: national report for 2017 - drug markets and crime.

Health Research Board. Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2018) Ireland: national report for 2017 - drug markets and crime. Dublin: Health Research Board.

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Cannabis is the main drug that is produced in Ireland due to the availability of advanced cultivation techniques and low start-up costs. Synthetic drugs are not normally produced in Ireland. However, the market is constantly changing; pre-precursors such as alphaphenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN), Benzylcyanide and precursors, such as PMK and BMK, have been detected in Ireland in the past number of years. Similarly, tableting does not really happen in Ireland, but when it does, it involves binding tablet powder with pressing agents. Tableting machines that have been detected in Irish grow houses are archaic and slow and not of the same standard as those in countries where tableting is more advanced, for example, the Netherlands.


Ireland is primarily a transit country. It is considered vulnerable to trafficking due to its long coastline, which acts as a route for drugs to be brought into the UK and Europe. Drugs originate in various countries, for example, Morocco (cannabis resin), the Netherlands (synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs), Afghanistan (heroin), China (new psychoactive substances, NPS), India and Pakistan (counterfeit medicines). Numerous operations on the island of Ireland by law enforcement agencies also shed light on where drugs have travelled from. Table shows that in 2016 drugs brought into Ireland originated in Europe (the Netherlands, Spain), Africa (south east, west), North America, and Canada. In addition, drug traffickers travelled from Europe (Spain, France), South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. The main mode of transport was by freight via Rosslare Europort, or by plane via Dublin Airport. The majority of products that arrived by plane were concealed in luggage. Another method that was also used was the postal system. A number of products were intercepted by post in controlled deliveries. Due to a common travel area between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, organised crime groups (OCGs) have been known to transport heroin, cocaine, and cannabis from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland and vice versa.

Pages:40 p.
Publisher:Health Research Board
Corporate Creators:Health Research Board. Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Place of Publication:Dublin
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Related URLs:
Subjects:MM-MO Crime and law > Crime
MM-MO Crime and law > Crime > Drugs and alcohol related crime > Crime associated with drugs and alcohol production and distribution
MM-MO Crime and law > Drugs and alcohol offence > Drug offence > Illegal distribution of drugs (drug market / dealing)
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on drugs and alcohol > Supply reduction policy
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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