Cannabis is the most commonly seized drug in Norway. The Netherlands and Spain are typically implicated in cannabis resin distribution to Norway, and herbal cannabis reportedly enters via Sweden or by sea from Germany. In addition, some domestic cultivation of cannabis takes place indoors. Heroin is brought to Norway through Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Cocaine also enters Norway through other European countries in vehicles or using ‘drug mules’. Most amphetamines (predominantly amphetamine) seized in 2015 in Norway came from illegal laboratories in the Czech Republic, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Poland. The MDMA that is available on the Norwegian market comes mainly from the Netherlands, while postal shipments from Germany and the United Kingdom have also been identified. Postal shipments are the most common way of smuggling NPS into Norway.
Data from the National Crime Investigation Service indicate that the total number of drug seizures has been relatively stable during the last four years, while the long-term trend indicates an increase in the total number of seizures.
This may be explained by the priorities of the police and customs activities. In 2015, a record number of cocaine and MDMA seizures were reported, while, in terms of quantities seized, record amounts of both amphetamines and MDMA were recorded, and the amount of seized cocaine also remained high. In contrast, the quantities of cannabis resin and heroin seizures remained stable, while herbal cannabis and cannabis plants were seized in lower amounts than in previous years (Figure 15). There has been an increase in the number of NPS seizures in Norway since 2009; however, since 2012, numbers have levelled off. The most recent data indicate that benzodiazepine-like substances are most frequently seized, while substances belonging to synthetic cannabinoids group were the second most frequently seized NPS.
The retail price and purity of the main illicit substances seized are shown below.
With regard to law enforcement activities, priority is increasingly being given to strengthening technologybased intelligence to tackle the challenges posed by the use of the internet and postal services for smuggling drugs in to the country.
Drug seizures in Norway: 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 Norway
NBPrice and potency/purity ranges: EU and national mean values: minimum and maximum. Year of data 2015.