Members of a drug ring distributing cocaine from South America and heroin from Asia to western Europe were arrested in Greece by local authorities collaborating with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the United States’ law enforcement agency, police sources said on Monday.
The drug ring transported the drugs by sea, hidden in commercial containers among other imports, through a Greek company that provided a legal front for the operation.
A total of four ring members were arrested: two foreign nationals and a 74-year-old Greek national were arrested in Greece, while a foreign national was arrested in Ecuador. Two more members, aged 34 and 38, are being sought. A Turkish national is believed to have been the head of the operation, and another two people, a Chinese and a Turkish national, are also being sought as money couriers.
Head of the operations in Greece was a 74-year-old Greek male arrested at his house in Voula, where authorities found 1.2 kg of cocaine. His son, 35, was also arrested for violation of the drug laws, for carrying a small amount of cannabis.
Greek and Ecuadorian authorities have confiscated a total of 177 kg of cocaine, 16 mobile phones, cash in several currencies including euros and Iranian rials, bank deposit booklets, six binders with handwritten notes, and two passports, among others.
The Greek police, which initiated the investigation, said the value of the drugs confiscated exceeds five million euros.
Those arrested were led before the prosecutor of Piraeus and sent to investigators.
Besides Greek police and the DEA, assisting the case were Ecuadorian police, the US Embassy in Athens, the Greek Port Authority and Coast Guard and the financial crimes division of the Greek Finance Ministry (SDOE).