| LISBON – The border police of the European Union, Frontex, is warning of a new trend of middle-class tourists from Brazil who engage in drug tourism. The organization points out that young people can earn a premium of $20,000, on top of a sightseeing trip through Europe with all expenses paid just by bringing a load of ecstasy pills or LSD back to Brazil.
According to an article in Folha de Sao Paulo, with higher incomes and a growing market, the country has become a major destination for synthetic drugs, which are popular among young, affluent youth in the big cities.
The warning from Frontex says that the main destinations for the so-called drug tourists from Brazil are Belgium and the Netherlands, the largest producers of synthetic drugs in Europe. The trip back to Brazil generally entails departing from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. This to bypass landing in Rio or Sao Paulo where the customs inspections are thought to be more thorough than at other international airports in the country.
The drug tourists preferred route is from Lisbon to a smaller Brazilian city, such as Belo Horizonte, Salvador or Recife, where they can connect to domestic flights to other parts of the country. Other than Lisbon, flights to these Brazilian cities can be made from Madrid, Paris and Frankfurt but security in those departing cities is also more sophisticated than in Lisbon.
Brazilian online news source for this article: Folha de Sao Paulo