More arrests made in operation against international cocaine cartel

A total of 16 people from Greece, Albania, Georgia, Venezuela and Ukraine were arrested on Friday and Thursday in five Greek cities as part of a large-scale police operation dubbed “Avalanche” to crack down on a cocaine-smuggling ring with links to Latin America.

Police on Friday confirmed that among the 16 suspects under arrest, four are believed to be leading figures of the cartel, which has been under investigation since November 2012 for smuggling cocaine into Greece from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela via Albania in cargo containers and via mules carrying the drugs by plane. The cartel is believed to consist of five seperate criminal organizations working in collusion.

Police have seized 146 kilograms of cocaine and 352,000 euros in cash, as well as freezing bank accounts containing an additional 500,000 euros.

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