The Danish illicit drug market is considered stable, with cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines the most prevalent drugs. The market is highly structured and is regulated by domestic organised crime groups and gangs (except for heroin and NPS).
Cannabis remains the most frequently seized drug in Denmark and, in 2015, a record number of cannabis resin seizures for the last 15 years was reported. Morocco continues to be the primary producing country for the cannabis resin that reaches the Danish market. Domestic production of cannabis resin has been reported, albeit on a very small scale, based on few seizures of ‘home-made’ resin. In recent years, there has been a moderate increase in the reported indoor cultivation of cannabis. Investigations indicate that most of the herbal cannabis seized is from domestic cultivation. In some cases, there has been occasional distribution of domestically grown cannabis to neighbouring countries, such as Sweden and Germany.
In 2015, cocaine was the second most frequently seized substance in Denmark. Cocaine seized in Denmark originates from South America and is trafficked into the country via the Netherlands, Spain and the Balkans by land, or, on a lesser scale, by air via West Africa. However, cocaine has been increasingly reported to be trafficked directly from producer countries by sea or air. Available information suggests that some of the cocaine seized in Denmark is intended for distribution to other European countries.
Amphetamines seized in Denmark are produced in the Netherlands, and, to a lesser extent, in Poland and Lithuania. The trafficking of amphetamines is mainly organised by domestic criminal groups, such as outlaw motorcycle gangs, and amphetamines are typically smuggled in motor vehicles and trains. Small ‘kitchen’ type laboratories that produce synthetic drugs (methamphetamine and various types of NPS) are occasionally seized by police. Despite a recent increase in the number of seizures of amphetamines, in 2015, the amount seized was the lowest for the previous five years. The majority of heroin seized in Denmark is reported to originate in Afghanistan or Pakistan, and is trafficked via the Balkan route, primarily its northern branch. Heroin trafficking is carried out by small organised groups, individuals or family groups with ethnic connections to Pakistan or countries along the Balkan route. In the last decade, the number of heroin seizures has almost halved; however, in 2015 the amount seized was double that reported in 2014.
NPS are usually purchased through the internet and are shipped by mail from other EU countries.
MDMA seized in Denmark originates from the Netherlands and Belgium, and the number of MDMA seizures has been rising in recent years.
Retail price and purity data of the main illicit substances seized are shown below. The data indicate that the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol in cannabis resin and the purity of cocaine have increased in recent years
Drug seizures in Denmark: trends in number of seizures (left) and quantities seized (right)
NBYear of data 2015.
Price and potency/purity ranges of illicit drugs reported in Denmark
NBPrice and potency/purity ranges: EU and national mean values: minimum and maximum.
Year of data 2015.