Financial Crimes Squad shuts down major cannabis racket


Greece’s Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) has shut down a racket that smuggled large quantities of cannabis to Europe hidden in sacks of rice.

In a raid on a warehouse in Nea Peramos, on the coast west of Athens near Elefsina, SDOE officers seized nearly half a ton of unprocessed cannabis worth an estimated street value of 4 million euros, the agency said in an announcement on Wednesday.

The drugs were found hidden in large sacks containing rice and was destined for the Netherlands, SDOE said.

Two men have been arrested so far. The first is a 30-year-old Greek who is suspected of buying rice in bulk with the use of forged identification and business papers, as a front to the drug operation. The other suspect, an Albanian national aged 38, allegedly helped him package the drugs and send them off on trucks to various European destinations.

The gang is thought to have already sent more than a ton of cannabis to the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, according to investigators, who are trying to ascertain whether more people were involved in the racket.