No Vincentian involved in major drug bust in Greece – Commissioner
Commissioner of Police (COP) Colin John said on Monday that nobody from St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) was implicated in a major drug bust in Greece.
He also noted that SVG being named in a news report as a transhipment point for the cocaine is misleading as the ship carrying the illegal narcotics only passed through our waters but did not land here.
Last Friday, January 24, Greek police seized nearly 1.2 tons of cocaine and arrested eight alleged members of an international drug trafficking ring.
An online publication, the Greek Reporter said traffickers are believed to have systematically transported significant quantities of cocaine from St Vincent to countries in Europe and north-west Africa.
Commissioner John told SEARCHLIGHT that the local constabulary had knowledge of the drug shipment and assisted with the investigation. He said that no Vincentian was connected with the shipment or involved with handling the drug.
It was noted that the drug bust saw almost all of the cocaine, taken up during an afternoon raid at a house in the western Greek port of Astakos. Police spokesman Theodoros Chronopoulos said Saturday that the drugs were packaged in 1,040 nylon bags, and ready for distribution.
Four more home raids in the Athens area yielded a small amount of cocaine, some cannabis, an AK-47 assault rifle and three pistols. Police also seized over 233,000 euros ($257,000) in cash and impounded five vehicles.
Major General Petros Tzeferis, head of the Attica Security Directorate, said the investigation took six months and Greek police were aided by colleagues in Albania and Spain, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration office at the US Embassy in Athens.
The drug gang’s leaders are said to be two permanent residents of Spain, with several Albanian citizens as underlings.
Commissioner John said nine other people are being sought in relation to the investigation which is ongoing.