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Four arrested after large quantities of cocaine found in container at Piraeus port

Police arrested four people o Thursday after large quantities of cocaine were found in a container at the port of Piraeus, the largest port of Greece. The cocaine was shipped in Latin America and was to be distributed in Europe.

The Attica Security police on Thursday announced the crackdown of an international criminal gang importing large quantities of cocaine from Latin America for illegal distribution in Europe.

Police said the drugs were transported by sea, concealed in containers, and sold in European countries, including Greece, for extremely high illegal profits.

The criminal organization was busted through collaboration with the DEA Office at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, the Hellenic Police special counter-terrorism unit and the narcotics squad of the 3rd Piraeus Customs Office, with assistance from the SDOE of the finance ministry as well as coastguard narcotics and smuggling squads.

According to the announcement, it was the culmination of an investigation lasting several months, using analysis, cross-checking of evidence and other methods to uncover the operational structure of the gang, whose operations allegedly garnered profits exceeding five million euros, and the role of each of its members.

Police have identified a 48-year-old man as the alleged leader, responsible for securing the drugs and for financing their purchase and transfer, a 36-year-old allegedly in charge of recruiting the other members, a 64-year-old man put in charge of communicating with other members of the organization based abroad, as well as a 54-year-old in charge of protecting the 48-year-old and taking measures to avert his arrest.

The 48-year-old was arrested during a police raid on Wednesday morning, during which 210.3 kilos of cocaine were found in his possession. In a further search of residences and cars, police found another 510 grams of cocaine, 131,675 euros, a loaded gun, ammunition and other evidence.

Police also noted that the 48-year-old faces an outstanding sentence of 20 years imprisonment and fine imposed on him in 2017, after he was found guilty of installing and operating a workshop producing the synthetic drug Captagon.

The 64-year-old, meanwhile, had served a prison sentence in the US for the transfer of weapons from Europe.

According to media information, the alleged leader is an Albanian national, while one of the arrested is Greek. The nationalities of the other two has not been revealed.

Police are continue to investigate the extent of the gang’s activities and possible links with similar organizations, as well as to identify possible additional members.

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The arrested were taken to prosecutor on Thursday afternoon.

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