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Traffickers shipping drugs in containers caught in joint operation

limassol port
File photo: Shipping containers at Limassol port

Attempts by drug traffickers to import narcotic substances into Cyprus through containers arriving at the island’s ports, is a growing concern, according to police spokesman, Christos Andreou.

Meanwhile, a request is pending with the Sovereign Bases Area (SBA) court for the extradition of two individuals arrested for 17.5 kg of cocaine found in a container which ended up confiscated in a warehouse for the import of fruits and vegetables in Asomatos.

“This way of transporting drugs from abroad to the Republic of Cyprus certainly concerns us and of course it happens in other countries,” Andreou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

“We also cooperate with the customs authorities for checks on the containers and where there is information they are examined to locate the drugs,” he added.

The recent detection of 17.5 kg of cocaine in a container arriving at the port of Limassol, was made possible after relevant information from Greek police.

With the assistance of the customs authorities, a controlled delivery of the cargo to Cyprus took place, which was transported, on July 27, to a warehouse in Asomatos.

Last Tuesday, two people aged 40 and 46, were seen going to the site and picking up the packages containing the drugs, and were arrested by members of the British bases police, with the assistance of members of the Cyprus police drugs squad.

On August 4, the SBA judge reserved his decision on the request for the surrender of the two suspects to the Cyprus police until August 8 following objections by the defence lawyers. Until then, the pair will remain in custody.

A similar modus operandi was also uncovered last March, when the large amount of 132 kg of cannabis was found in a container that arrived at the port of Limassol, in bags of animal fodder.

Meanwhile, a 46-year-old man was handed over by the Spanish authorities to the Cyprus police on August 1, in connection with this case, for which a 38-year-old man and a 61-year-old man were also arrested in March. The 61-year-old died inside the detention facilities, while the 38-year-old was released pending further examinations.

 

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