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European police arrest dozens of drug trafficking suspects

February 6, 2024

Authorities from across Europe have arrested dozens of suspected members of a drug trafficking network who smuggled narcotics in cars with secret compartments.

Blocks of cocaine and piles of money are laid out in rows in a demonstration by police in Madrid, Spain. December 12, 2023.
Spainish police siezed 11 tons of cocaine in December 2023Image: Marta Fernandez Jara/Europa Press/ABACAPRESS.COM/picture alliance

European police arrested 59 people suspected of participating in and operating a drug trafficking network based in Albania and Italy.

Suspects were arrested in Albania, Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain across Monday February 5 and Tuesday February 6, with a further 10 people subjected to other precautionary measures in Italy.

"The network mainly smuggled heroin, cocaine, hashish and marijuana into Germany and Spain using cars with double bottoms or secret compartments," Europe’s judicial agency Eurojust said.

Probe began in 2019

The investigations into the organized crime group (OCG) were opened in 2019 by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Florence with Eurojust and Euopol facilitating co-operation between police authorities throughout Europe.

It follows the seizure of 11 tonnes of cocaine in Spain in December 2023 imported by the Albania OCG with 20 suspected arrested during a raid.

Spanish police commented at the time that a "Balkan cartel" consisting mostly of Albanian mafia groups was responsible, which it accused of monopolizing the shipment of drugs across Europe and Latin America.

km/jsi (AFP, dpa)