In cooperation with US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials, Greek police have smashed a drug ring attempting to smuggle cocaine from South America into Europe, Kathimerini understands.
Authorities have arrested three suspects accused of having used a scrap metal import business as a front to disguise their operations. Seeking to test the response of Greek authorities and bolster the credibility of the new company, the suspects allegedly first shipped containers with scrap metal from Guyana, on the northern coast of South America, to a rented warehouse in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens.
During a police raid at a central Athens hotel, Greek authorities arrested a 38-year-old Guyana-born Dutch citizen, who is believed to be the kingpin of the racket. His name has not been made public, but he was reportedly dubbed by police as “fat guy” because of his physical appearance.
Police also arrested two more suspects, a 38-year-old Greek baseball player and a 48-year-old Guyana national, as accomplices. They were arrested at the Aspropyrgos warehouse after they turned up to collect a container. Police found 27 kilos of cocaine hidden inside a metal compartment.
Tapped telephone conversations revealed that the racket was planning to smuggle 50 kilos of cocaine in Greece.
Sources told the newspaper that the 38-year-old Greek had been on the radar of local and international anti-drug agents for about two years. He is said to have first contacted the Dutchman earlier this year before the two of them set up the ring. A fourth man, who has not been arrested by the authorities, is believed to have played a key role in dismantling the ring.