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INSIGHT: EU admits organised crime threat ‘worsening’ as bloc surpasses US as biggest cocaine market; four-point plan to thwart cartels launched, includes new Ports Alliance

EUROPE's crime and drugs problem is worsening, the EU admitted today as it announced a four-point plan to take on the cartels. Last month Ireland's Army Ranger Wing (ARW) boarded a freighter off the south east coast carrying 2,253kg of cocaine from Latin America worth an estimated €157M. Our file photo shows the ARW on training exercise.

By STEPHEN RAE for AML Intelligence

EUROPE is to set up a new Ports Alliance to combat drug trafficking as the bloc admitted it has surpassed the US as the biggest cocaine market in the world.

Brussels also committed to facilitating financial and digital investigations to map the biggest criminal networks and take them down.

“The threat of organised crime and drug trafficking is worsening. It is not only affecting rival gang members, but also innocent people, including children, who find themselves in the crossfire,” said Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Home Affairs

“I have said that we need a network to fight a network. This new Roadmap, which will scale up our response, is a significant step in building that network,” she claimed.

The plan sets out four key actions:

– A new European Ports Alliance to increase the resilience of ports against criminal infiltration by reinforcing the work of customs authorities, law enforcement, public and private actors in the ports across the EU. For example,

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