Seventeen people, including 11 Greeks and six Albanians, from an organised crime network involved in large-scale drug trafficking have been arrested in an international operation led by Greece.
EU police agency Europol and Belgian police were involved in the operation.
Europol said that the drug-trafficking network was mainly based in Greece and is suspected of having made hundreds of millions of euro by shipping narcotics to a number of European countries.
Large quantities of cannabis and cocaine were shipped by road haulage companies settled in Bulgaria and Austria that served as front companies, Europol said in a May 13 statement.
On May 9, a broad police operation was carried out in both Greece and Belgium. House searches resulted in the seizure of 698kg of cannabis in Greece and 96.5kg of hashish in Belgium. Fifteen “targets” were subsequently arrested in Greece and two in Belgium, the Europol statement said.
The investigation is still on-going and future arrests may be seen in the near future, Europol said.
Europol said that it supported investigation by facilitating criminal intelligence analysis and providing operational support.
Focal Point (FP) Cola is Europol’s team of specialists and analysts dedicated to tackling cocaine trafficking. Since 2001, FP Cola has been combating the activities of suspected criminal organisations and networks involved in producing, processing and trafficking cocaine, as well as precursor chemicals and cutting agents, the police agency said.