The Malta Independent 22 March 2018, Thursday

European customs departments, including Malta, successfully intercept 100kg consignment of cocaine

Tuesday, 13 March 2018, 13:42 Last update: about 8 days ago

Cooperation between several EU member state customs departments, including Malta, were successful in interception a 100 kg consignment of cocaine at port Rijeka, Croatia.

The joint exercise, made up of French, Spanish, Maltese and Croatian customs departments over several weeks.

The seizure is through to break up an “organised crime ring”, the Maltese customs department said in a press release issued today.

Over several weeks, a container filled with metal scrap making its way to Europe from South America had been observed by the authorities. Once it arrived at Port Algeciras, Spain, a decision was taken to continue surveillance of the container. It stopped briefly in Malta, where authorities scanned the goods thanks to new equipment, and uncovered suspicious contents.

Following consultation between all relevant parties, it was decided that Maltese customs would covertly sent out the image scans to Rijeka, and released the container under strict surveillance in order for it to safely arrive at Croatian authorities. This was done to ensure that authorities would also catch the receiver of the illicit goods.

On 6 March, the container was released to the recipient, where it was continually followed, until Zagreb police intervened and arrested nine people: six Croatians, a Dutchman, a Spaniard, a Columbian and a person from Bosnia Herzegovina.

Slovak, German and Dutch police have joined the investigations which have taken a wider scope.




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