BKA Report: Drug-Related Crime in Germany Rises in 2023

BKA Report: Drug-Related Crime in Germany Rises in 2023

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) of Germany has released its annual report on drug-related crime for 2023, revealing a concerning increase in offenses and record-breaking seizures.

In 2023, German police recorded 346,877 drug-related offenses, marking a 1.8% increase from the previous year. Both drug trafficking (+6.0%) and consumption-related offenses (+1.0%) saw an uptick.

Cocaine-related crimes surged by 27.4%, reaching an all-time high. Cocaine seizures doubled to approximately 43 tons, compared to around 20 tons in 2022 and 23 tons in 2021. Criminal groups have shown an increased willingness to use bribery and violence to maintain their operations.

Cannabis remained the most prevalent drug, accounting for about two-thirds of all drug-related offenses. Authorities seized 20.9 tons of marijuana and 3.7 tons of hashish. Domestic cannabis production was also significant, with 450 plantations containing 20 or more plants discovered, including 146 large-scale operations and 37 professional-grade facilities.

Synthetic drugs continued to play a major role, with substantial seizures of amphetamine (2,000 kg), ecstasy (1.1 million tablets), and methamphetamine (450 kg). The number of drug laboratories discovered in Germany rose to 14 in 2023, including the first lab producing synthetic cannabinoids and two large-scale amphetamine production facilities.

Online drug trafficking established – rising death-toll

Online drug trafficking has become firmly established, with both global and German offerings reaching record levels between late 2022 and mid-2023. The use of messaging services and social media platforms for drug sales has also increased, potentially exposing younger users to drug offers.

Tragically, drug-related deaths in Germany rose by 11.9% to 2,227 in 2023. The average age of those who died was 41, with men accounting for 82.8% of fatalities. Mixed intoxication deaths increased by 34% compared to 2022.

BKA Vice President Martina Link emphasized the need for a holistic approach to combat international drug trafficking, calling for cooperation between government institutions, law enforcement agencies, and the private sector. She highlighted the importance of intensifying collaboration with Latin American countries and improving port security in Europe.

Drug-related crime and offenses have a long tradition in Germany. BKA is constantly tackling this issue.

For more detailed information on drug-related crime trends in Germany for 2023, visit the BKA website.