Saturday, 19 April 2014

Pervitine smuggling from CzechRep to Bavaria on the rise

ČTK |
23 November 2012

Prague/Berlin - The Czech Interior Ministry is aware of the rise in the smuggling of pervitine (methamphetamine) hard drug from the Czech Republic to Germany but it is primarily caused by the increased demand for narcotics in German border areas, ministry spokeswoman Denisa Cermakova told CTK Thursday.

She reacted to the statements by Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann who said Bavaria would tighten random border checks over the extensive pervitine smuggling from the Czech Republic.

He at the same time called on the Czech government to re-assess the drug policy. Its liberalisation two years ago is the main cause of the rising pervitine production in the Czech Republic and its export to Germany, he said.

"However, possible border checks should be maximally focused on the perpetrators of criminal offences, predominantly German citizens, to minimise their impact on honest citizens of both countries," Cermakova said.

The whole Bavaria faces problems with the pervitine expansion and it will fight against it by all possible means, Herrmann said in his office's press release.

The Czech Interior Ministry points out that not even frequent joint Czech-German border checks have helped in the fight with drugs and this is why experts from both ministries are working out further measures.

Herrmann also called on the Czech government to change the law from 2010 that qualifies the possession of small pervitine amount for personal use as a misdemeanour, and to take more consistent steps against drug crimes.

Under the respective Czech legislation, the possession of up to 15 grammes of marijuana, 1.5 grammes of heroin, one gramme of cocaine, two grammes of pervitine (methamphetamine) as well as four tablets of the ecstasy party drug, five grammes of hashish, five LSD "blotter papers" or tablets and 40 magic mushrooms is not classified as a crime but only as a misdemeanour.

Czech national anti-drug coordinator Jindrich Voboril says border checks are only a partial solution.

Repressive measures do not suffice if demand for this drug has already existed across the Czech border, he wrote to CTK.

According to the Bavarian Interior Ministry's statistics, pervitine smuggling from the Czech Republic to Bavaria increased by 109 percent to 11.7 kilos in 2010-2011.

"This trend unfortunately continues in 2012," Herrmann said.

In the first ten months of 2012, Bavarian police seized 11.9 kilos of pervitine, he said, blaming the liberalisation of Czech legal regulations for the rise.

He pointed to Vietnamese market places in the Czech borderland where pervitine can be easily and cheaply bought, which both dealers and drug addicts from Bavaria abuse.

Cermakova sharply rejected the criticism of the Czech drug legislation.

"The Interior Ministry has repeatedly informed German political representatives about this misinterpretation of the amendment to Czech legal regulations. In spite of it, German politicians are trying in their statements to make an impression that the Czech Republic takes a benevolent stance on drug abuse," Cermakova said.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and his land counterparts will discuss the problems of pervitine smuggling from the Czech Republic at their meeting in December, Herrmann said.

The "dialogue from Hof" to boost more intensive cooperation in the border crime suppression, on which Herrmann, Friedrich and Czech Interior Minister Jan Kubice have agreed, will also continue.

Bavarian police have carried out random border checks since the Czech Republic and other new EU member states joined the Schengen area at the end of 2007.

The Czech Republic sharply criticised Bavarian authorities in the past years for their allegedly too strict checks of Czech drivers. Bavaria has always dismissed these objections, saying the checks help fight border crime.

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