Czechia Country Drug Report 2019

Drug markets

Czechia is a production country for cannabis and methamphetamine, the latter of which is known locally as ‘pervitin’. Small-scale indoor cannabis cultivation sites prevail. An established part of the indoor cannabis cultivation is well organised and dominated by Vietnamese organised crime groups, assisted by Czech citizens at large-scale cultivation sites. Cannabis cultivation is mainly supplying the domestic market, but a substantial part is also intended for export. Available information on methamphetamine production suggests that, although it is primarily produced for the domestic market, it is also exported to neighbouring countries. Production takes place predominantly in small-scale kitchen laboratories, although an increase in the number of large-scale laboratories operated by organised crime groups has been reported more recently. Pseudoephedrine extracted from prescription medicines is the main precursor for methamphetamine production in Czechia. In 2009, restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine-containing medicines were introduced, causing a significant increase in the illicit importation of such medication from Poland. These medicines are now primarily imported from Turkey, after Poland also introduced legal restrictions to the sale of these medicines.

The trafficking and distribution of cocaine in Czechia is dominated by West African criminals, but also by organised crime groups from the western Balkans countries, and, to a lesser extent, Czech citizens. Cocaine seizures show significant annual variations, and exceptionally large-volume seizures are unlikely to be intended for the domestic market. Cocaine is imported from Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain by courier and through postal packages.

The heroin market has stagnated in Czechia. In recent years, heroin seized in the country has been entering the country more and more via the Southern Caucasus route (from Iran via Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to Ukraine or Moldova), and less via the historically favoured Balkan route. In 2013-17, buprenorphine tablets, fentanyl patches and morphine-based prescription medicines were also seized.

MDMA/ecstasy is not produced domestically and is mainly imported from the Netherlands via Germany.

Owing to the nature of the illicit drug market, Czech law enforcement prioritises the detection and prevention of illicit drug-trafficking activities, mainly linked to methamphetamine and cannabis, in the regions bordering Austria, Germany and Poland.

Data on the retail price and purity of the main illicit substances seized are shown in the ‘Key statistics’ section.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.