The containment decided in the context of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic indirectly led to a drop in drug trafficking by 30 to 40%. A figure given at a press conference by Christophe Castaner, Minister of the Interior, this Friday, on the basis of estimates of the services of fight against drugs.
“During the confinement, traffic was strongly affected and it is estimated that it decreased by 30 to 40%”, says Christophe Castaner from the headquarters of the Anti-Narcotics Office (Ofast), in Nanterre (Hauts-de- Seine). The estimate corresponds to several factors detailed by Stéphanie Cherbonnier, patron of Ofast: decrease in the facts observed, the volume of seizures, the number of arrested or the “information that goes back on the availability of products”.
For the services in charge of the fight against narcotic drugs, the confinement first caused a major disorganization, even a “dumbfounding” among the traffickers who quickly looked for new ways of transporting products in France.
A “supply disruption” has been noted, resulting in a disorganization of the deal points, but the “delinquents have shown a lot of ingenuity” with the implementation of new resale methods, specifies Stéphanie Cherbonnier. The development of cannabis cultivation and the “uberization” of trafficking by social networks, namely orders and home deliveries of drugs, have thus been reinforced.
This period of disruption in drug trafficking has allowed Ofast to estimate 10 days before stocks “shortage” of products. A “massive” increase in prices, both retail and wholesale, has also been observed, on the order of 30 to 60% for example for cannabis.
Revival of territorial wars
Finally, according to Christophe Castaner, the confinement caused a contraction of the narcotics market. This may have sharpened the rivalries between traffickers and “awaken or exacerbate” certain territorial wars. Thus, in Rennes, the assault of a trafficker in April provoked three attempts to settle accounts, which ended in eight arrests.
However, as recent seizures of cannabis show, traffickers have continued to want to import large shipments of drugs. During the night of April 23 to 24, customs got hold of 645 kg of cannabis in a truck, in the Lyon region. Tuesday, still in the greater Lyon area, two “go-fast” vehicles were stopped by the police who discovered 430 kg of cannabis and 10 kg of cocaine.
VIDEO. Castaner: “Drug trafficking dropped 30 to 40% during confinement”