Police clamp down on dealers selling drugs to tourists

Polish police have detained 10 drugs dealers targeting tourists in northern Poland, securing narcotics in the investigation.

The National Prosecutor’s Office and the elite arm of the police have dismantled a group of drug dealers which had been operating since mid 2017.

The group was selling drugs in touristic seaside towns of Koszalin, Kołobrzeg, which are popular with national and international tourists. Reportedly, a large part of the drugs were being sold to visitors to the region. Non-locals are encouraged to remain cautious as this was not the first time that drugs were distributed amongst tourists.

The first three members of the gang were detained in February 2018, after they were caught red handed during a large transaction. Following interrogations, officers secured 8.8 kg of cannabis and 3.6 kg of amphetamines stashed in the criminals’ apartments.

The police manhunt continued, with seven more gang members being captured a few days ago. Sitting in cars, the dealers had to be dragged out by officers in a coordinated strike. Once detained, the criminals were charged with participation in large scale drug trade.

According to the Narcotics Prevention Act, a person charged with drug trade may be sentenced to one up to ten years in prison. However, selling drugs to people under 18, entails a risk of being sentenced to not less than three years behind bars.

Based on the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction statistics, Poland had four tons of amphetamine seized in 2015, the latest available data shows.

The drug problem in Poland is costly for the budget with thousands being treated in hospitals. In 2014, 2,564 Poles were treated substitionaly for opioid addiction, 189 Poles underwent cocaine treatment, 2,194 were treated for amphetamine addiction and 2,525 for cannabis.

In terms of drug seizures in Poland, four kg of heroin, 219 kg of cocaine, 747 kg of amphetamine, 78 kg of MDMA (ecstasy) were intercepted in 2015.

The most recent police statistics on drug-related crimes published on the police website date back to 2011 saying that 94 percent of dealers are male, in 91.3 percent of cases the dealer works alone and 39 percent of dealers are officially unemployed.

In order to avoid arrest, drug dealers are getting creative with where they sell drugs. According to police data, cemeteries, hospitals, nursing homes, public administration buildings, medical clinics, courts, churches and even banks are being used to sell narcotics in Poland.