Artificial intelligence in fighting illicit drugs production and trafficking
euro notes with syringe

ARIEN will build a real-time intelligence picture of illegal drug production and trafficking incidence across the EU aligned to the 2021-2025 EU Drugs Action Plan. Bolstered by AI-driven tools, ARIEN will seek to understand, detect, analyse and track the entire drug trafficking chain, its financial flows, and the role of black markets in the global darknet and their relationships with social media.
ARIEN builds on a strong platform of multi-disciplinary research, following a co-creation approach, across the criminological, societal, and legislative landscapes that will make recommendations for harmonisation.

ARIEN will leverage innovative AI techniques to monitor online illicit drug markets and collect precious information on physical drug-dealing hotspots through social media. Additional layers of analysis will provide actionable knowledge on modus operandi and emerging threats and trends both on drugs and drug-related organised crime networks through integrations with criminal records data and detection of online activities. Moreover, ARIEN will promote effective strategies for international cooperation among EU and non-EU LEAs, Customs and Border Guards Authorities and policymakers . 

Within ARIEN, CENTRIC leads on the analysis of drugs intelligence and efforts related to the EU Drugs Action Plan. Furthermore, CENTRIC will assess the societal acceptance of the use of AI tools in the efforts to counter drug trafficking whilst also addressing the societal impacts and prevention strategies related to the proliferation of drugs in Europe. Finally, on the technical side, we devise methods for detecting drug sales on the web. 

Funding Statement

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Co-funded by the European Union


CENTRIC’s work is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee [grant number 10078198]

Further Information