Balkans in the Spotlight: Drug Factories in Bulgaria, 1932-1937 Cover Image
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Balkans in the Spotlight: Drug Factories in Bulgaria, 1932-1937
Balkans in the Spotlight: Drug Factories in Bulgaria, 1932-1937

Author(s): Vladan Z. Jovanović
Subject(s): History
Keywords: Bulgaria; opiates; smuggling; illicit drug production; IMRO.

Summary/Abstract: After the two restrictive opium conventions came into force (1925, 1931) the Opium Advi-sory Commission of the League of Nations (OAC) began to suppress simultaneously the raw opium production and its illicit processing and trade. The largest drug production and smuggling centers have been transferred from Paris to Istanbul in the late 1920s, since Turkey was still ignoring the international anti-opium measures. However, after the inter-national community forced Turkey to stop its drug activities, illegal opium factories began to move from Istanbul to Bulgaria already in early-1930s, as I managed to recognize by using the extensive documents of the Archives of Yugoslavia. Bad security conditions in the Balkan borderlands were favorable for the expansion of international smuggling net-works, especially within the opium production zone that coincided with the territory of Vardar and Pirin Macedonia. Furthermore, the possibility of multiple profits turned the legal opium factories in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia into a source of uncontrolled drug pro-duction that started to flood both Europe and North America. This paper aims to recon-struct the transnational smuggling networks in Bulgaria as well as to examine the extent of illegal opium processing, including the role of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) in such kind of criminal activities.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 75-88
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English