Cannabis is the most frequently seized drug in the Czech Republic. Monitoring data indicate that the quantities of seized cannabis products are continuing to increase, although there are diverse trends for different products. In addition, domestic production of cannabis has been on the increase. Cannabis is grown in both natural and artificial conditions. Although cultivated cannabis is mainly intended for the domestic market, cultivation on a large scale and for export, predominantly to neighbouring countries, has also been reported. Organised criminal groups of Vietnamese descent have contributed to the emergence of large-scale cannabis cultivation, while there are indications that they are moving away from cannabis and engaging in the production and distribution of methamphetamine (locally known as pervitin).
Pervitin (methamphetamine) is the most frequently seized stimulant. Available information suggests that, although it is primarily produced for the domestic market, some of it is exported to border regions of Germany, Austria and Poland.
Production of pervitin takes place predominantly in lowvolume home-based laboratories, which can be easily relocated to avoid detection, although an increase in the proportion of high-volume laboratories operated by organised groups has been noted in recent years. Medicines containing pseudoephedrine are the main precursor of methamphetamine. In 2009, restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine-containing medication were introduced in the Czech Republic, but this was followed by a significant rise in the illegal importation of such medication, mainly from Poland.
Cocaine seizures have significant annual variations and exceptionally large volume seizures are probably not intended for distribution in the Czech drug market. The drug enters the Czech Republic mainly from the Netherlands by couriers and in postal deliveries.
Heroin reaches the Czech Republic mainly through the Balkan route and is imported in small shipments. In 2013-15, buprenorphine-containing medication, fentanyl patches and morphine-based painkillers were also seized from the illicit market. In 2014, the first case of high-purity heroin production from opium poppies and amorphine-based painkiller was reported.
MDMA is not produced domestically and is mainly imported from the Netherlands.
Cathinones, synthetic cannabinoids and phenethylamines represented the largest proportion of NPS seized in the Czech Republic in 2015, of which 11 appeared for the first time in the country. In one case, this was the first time such substance had been identified in the EU.
Taking into account the nature of the illicit drug market in the Czech Republic, the law enforcement agencies focus their activities on detection and prevention of illegal drug trafficking activities in the border regions with Germany, Austria and Poland.
Retail price and purity data of the main illicit substances seized are shown below.
Drug seizures in the Czech Republic: trends in number of seizures (left) and quantities seized (right)
NB Year of data 2015.
Price and potency/purity ranges of illicit drugs reported in the Czech Republic
NB Price and potency/purity ranges: EU and national mean values: minimum and maximum. Methamphetamine: mean price EUR 14.7-110 per 1 gram. Purity 15.4-87.7 %. Year of data 2015.