Exploring the maritime Balkan routes of illicit economies

The Balkans is known as a crossroads for trade, not least for the trafficking of drugs, contraband, people and weapons, and the smuggling of migrants. The traditional ‘Balkan route’ is across land, made up of transport corridors connecting east and west (particularly Türkiye with western Europe), as well as north and south (from the Mediterranean to central Europe). Despite the prevalence of trade over land, South Eastern Europe (SEE) also contains more than a hundred ports and 12 container terminals, which are important entry and exit points for trade in the Adriatic, Aegean, Black and Ionian Seas, as well as along the Danube.

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