Drug Offence Prosecutions Rise in Czech Republic, With 3,418 People Prosecuted Last Year

According to the annual report released by the National Drug Control Center (NPC) today, the number of people prosecuted on suspicion of drug offences in the Czech Republic increased to 3,418 in 2022, marking a rise of 272 from the previous year. The highest number of offences occurred in Prague, the capital city, with 559 prosecutions. The Central Bohemia Region followed closely behind with 448 prosecutions, while the Vysocina Region recorded the lowest number with 85.

Of those prosecuted, the majority were Czech citizens, totaling 3,099. Slovaks, Ukrainians, and Poles were also among the nationalities represented, with 75, 57, and 40 prosecutions respectively. The report also revealed that out of the total number of individuals prosecuted, 2,902 were men, and 516 were women. Among them, 3,302 were adults, 91 were juveniles, and 25 were underage.

The most common reasons for prosecution in 2022, as in previous years, were illicit manufacturing of narcotic and psychotropic substances, as well as possession of drugs for personal use.

During the criminal proceedings led by the NPC, law enforcement officers seized property and financial assets worth over CZK 105 million. The total value of the confiscated drugs amounted to over CZK 2.5 billion. Notably, the NPC director, Jakub Frydrych, highlighted the successful seizure of almost 1.2 tonnes of cocaine in two cases where the drugs were discovered among goods in large grocery chain stores. These drugs were believed to have originated from Colombia and were found concealed in boxes of bananas in Czech supermarkets in June of last year.

In addition to the significant cocaine seizure, the NPC also confiscated 41 kilograms of methamphetamine (pervitin), close to 19,000 ecstasy tablets, and nearly 16,000 plants containing illegal amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Furthermore, they registered 31 crimes related to anabolic substances, which was six fewer than the previous year.

It is worth noting that experts suggest that despite law enforcement efforts and drug seizures, the overall impact on the drug market is minimal. Reductions in drug supply are often compensated by rising street prices. The report also provides regional breakdowns of drug offence prosecutions, with South Bohemia, South Moravia, and Karlovy Vary among the regions with notable numbers of charges.

The increase in drug offence prosecutions in the Czech Republic underscores the ongoing challenges faced by law enforcement in combating the illicit drug trade. Efforts to address drug-related issues will require a comprehensive approach that encompasses prevention, treatment, and education, in addition to enforcement measures.

Article by Prague Forum

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