This year’s meeting of the Expert Group on the Prevention of Drug Precursors’ Diversion was hosted by the Portuguese Presidency of the Pompidou Group and supported by the Group’s partner organisation, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). The meeting was held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 1 to 3 October 2019. In all, 91 delegates representing 31 countries, 12 international organisations and the private sector attended the meeting.
The meeting began with an interesting round table where participants provided short insights on major challenges they encountered in their respective countries with regard to control of precursors.
The main issues discussed were the prevalence of precursor chemicals on the Darknet, strategies for dismantling clandestine laboratories and handling illegally dumped chemical waste; the different ways of cooperating with the chemical industry and combating falsified medicines. The role of international cooperation in preventing drug precursors’ diversion was emphasised through examining case studies of Georgia, Thailand and other international organisations. Toxicologists present at the meeting shared scientific data surrounding the different types of precursors and their role in synthetic drug production. Additionally, results of some of the major recent operations on seizure of precursors, the arrest of smugglers in different countries and the lessons learned were presented.
The three-day meeting concluded with study visits organised by the Portuguese Criminal Police and Portuguese Customs to the scientific police laboratory and the Port of Lisbon.