Cyprus Mail

42kg of drugs picked up on beach as usage increases in 2022

cannabis story
File photo

Famagusta police have seized a total of 42kg of cannabis washed up on the beach in several packages, as another 75kg were found on beaches of the area in the north in the last two weeks.

Investigations continue to identify where these packages have been washed up on Protaras beaches since December 20, Drug Squad Deputy Chief Stelios Sergides told the Cyprus News Agency on Tuesday.

“We have informed neighbouring countries and asked them to inform us whether they are facing similar incidents on their own beaches,” Sergides said. He did not clarify whether police have been in contact with authorities in the north over the issue.

Interpol and Europol were also informed before Christmas. “To date we have had not had any response from these two organisations and we are in process of investigating where the drugs came from,” the deputy chief said.

Although police have not identified any suspects, they suspect the drugs were dumped at sea by a ship.

Sergides said that 5kg were initially found on December 21, with 29kg the next day and 3kg on December 30. A further 2kg were found on December 31 while officers seized another 2kg that had been washed up on January 2.

Meanwhile, in the north, authorities discovered 75kg between December 18 and January 1 in the Famagusta area.

Sergides said in 2022 there has been an increase in the number of drugs seized in Cyprus in general compared with the last five years, adding the number of cannabis users rose.

In total 340kg of cannabis, 38kg of cocaine, 3.5kg of ecstasy and 4.5kg of methamphetamine were confiscated in Cyprus in 2022, he said. Another 1.5kg of synthetic substances and smaller quantities of other substances have also been seized.

“Large quantities of drugs came to our island mainly through Larnaca airport, postal parcels and Limassol port,” Sergides said. The largest quantities came from third countries via Central Europe, he added, noting that police are trying to seize the drugs before they reach the market.

“It is important that persons were arrested who played an important role in drug trafficking who seem to be involved in other forms of crime,” the officer said.

He also highlighted that “based on studies that have been carried out, it seems there has been an increase in the number of cannabis users in Cyprus”.


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