Cyprus Mail

Warehouse owner arrested, importer sought after cocaine haul seized

A 53-year-old man was arrested in Limassol on Thursday night in connection with 156 kilos of cocaine found in a customs warehouse in Zakaki, police announced on Friday.

According to a police report, the owner of warehouse, in which three generators’ fuel tanks served as the hiding place for the stash, was arrested.

The director of the company which imported the generators and commissioned the warehouse to store them, a 44-year-old man, is being sought by police.

Investigations into the largest cocaine haul ever in Cyprus are continuing “intensively”, police said.

Earlier on Thursday, acting on a tip-off and after an operation spanning several days, the drug squad (YKAN) tracked down over a hundred packages filled with high-quality cocaine.

The narcotics had been crammed into the fuel containers of three generators stored at the warehouse.

By nighttime, police had managed to extract all the cocaine packages, with a total gross weight of 156kg.

According to Gavriel Gavriel, head of the drug squad (YKAN), the illegal cargo arrived in Cyprus in two shipments, in April and May.

The cargo originated somewhere in South America, passing through a number of European ports before arriving in Limassol.

Responding to a question, Gavriel said police believe the cargo would have been re-exported, “although we cannot be sure whether part of the quantity [of the cocaine] would have remained here.”

He said the drug squad’s operation began a few days ago, in collaboration with “a corresponding agency in another country.”

Both shipments containing the narcotics originated in Chile, police sources later told the Cyprus Mail.

They confirmed this was the largest cocaine seizure ever made in Cyprus.

The same sources told the Mail that the cocaine appeared to be of high quality.

Cocaine in Cyprus goes for anywhere between €80 and €120 per gram, they said.

In Nicosia, it usually sells for around €80 per gram, and for €100 in Limassol.

Police would not comment on the final destination of the drugs, although the Netherlands was mentioned by some local media outlets.

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