Members of a drug smuggling ring arrested following the seizure of 1.3 tons of heroin last Thursday had leased a warehouse in the area of Koropi, eastern Attica, 8 days prior to their arrest, it emerged late on Tuesday.
Twelve people have been arrested in the case following a Greek coast guard and police operation carried out in a residence in Filothei, northern Athens and a warehouse in Koropi, eastern Attica.
According to the case file, one of the suspects currently in detention, a 31-year-old Turkish national, made a 500 euro down payment on June 10 for the purchase of a black Mercedes jeep allegedly used by members of the gang to transport the drug from Filothei to the storage area in Koropi. Another piece of evidence was a receipt for the purchase of a fork-lift truck used in the illicit operation. The receipt had been issued to a company based in the village of Masmechellen, Belgium.
According to testimony by a high-ranking Greek coast guard official the alleged ringleader, a 44-year-old Belgian national of Turkish descent, allegedly approached the owner of the Plaza Resort in Attica and offered to buy the hotel for 20 million euros. He also asked the hotel owner to book tickets for a truck driver who was allegedly in charge of transporting the drugs to Belgium.
Sources have told Kathimerini that the heroin came from Iran and was destined for Belgium and Germany. The drug’s street value was being estimated at around 30 million euros.