European police have dismantled a heroin smuggling ring based mainly in Macedonia, the European Police Office of Europol said on Monday. They added that 400 suspects had been arrested as part of this investigation since 2010. “A hundred kilos of heroin has been seized, as well as cocaine and cash”, said Europol. This long-term operation was undertaken by Austrian, Dutch, German and Macedonian police, and coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.
“4 tons of products used to cut the drug have also been seized”, said the Office, based in La Haye.
The smugglers operated from their base in Macedonia, but also in Austria and Germany, bringing the drug into the EU from the Balkans through Slovenia.
Many of the suspects arrested, who had been recruited in Macedonia, had already been judged and convicted before, said a spokesman. “Their aim was to move good quality heroin around Europe, at a low cost, and in large amounts. Particularly in Austria and Germany”, said Europol.
The opiates market in Europe is worth an estimated 12 billion euros, Europol said, who added the drugs mainly come from Afghanistan.