Thursday, July 22, 2004

UPn 07/22/94

WARSAW (UPI) -- Poland has become the world's second-largest producer of illegal synthetic drugs after the Netherlands, according to a report by Polish law enforcement authorities released Friday.
The report by the State Protection Office said that the drugs, mainly amphetamines, are of top quality and very attractive items for international narcotics smugglers and dealers.
"The scale of supply of amphetamines, which caused a drastic drop in their prices in 1993, testifies to a large number of underground laboratories and their huge production capacity," the report said.
Amphetamines cost between $8,000 and $10,000 a kilogram (2.2 pounds) in 1993, but the current price has dropped to $3,500, the report said.
It said information obtained by law enforcement authorities indicates there are plans to begin production of amphetamine derivatives "on a very large scale" in Poland.
"Also recorded are attempts to introduce into international circulation a Polish-made 'kompot,' a brew made from poppy straw. Numerous illegal marijuana plantations are being started in Poland," the report said.
Poland has also become a major transit point in the world's narcotics trade, the report said.
The report said drugs are shipped to Poland from three major areas, the "Golden Half-Moon" (Afganistan, Pakistan and Iran), the "Golden Triangle" (Burma, Laos and Thailand), and South America. From Poland, the narcotics are forwarded to Western Europe.
In 1993, Polish authorities foiled 17 attempts at smuggling drugs through the country. Seized were 238 pounds (108 kg) of cocaine, 6.6 tons of hashish, 1,190 pounds (540 kg) of marijuana and 27.5 pounds (12. 5 kg) of heroin.