NEWS

Crashed van yields large hashish haul

They were looking for an injured driver. Instead, traffic police who went to investigate a routine highway accident outside the town of Mesolongi, in western Greece, discovered over 700 kilos of hashish stashed in an overturned van. The drugs were packed in plastic bags inside the abandoned vehicle, a red van with forged Greek license plates. Witnesses said that the van had veered off course, crossed into the opposite lane and overturned in a roadside ditch yesterday morning at the 29th kilometer of the National Road from Antirio to Ioannina, just outside the Mesolongi exit. Three men were seen limping away from the crashed vehicle. The van and its contents were taken to the Mesolongi police station for further investigation. Western Greece is a major entry point for hashish smuggled into the country by speedboat from Albania for the local market. Large quantities of the drug also occasionally wash up on western beaches. The draft, giving municipalities greater say over budgets, public services, culture, education and health, needs the backing of a two-thirds majority in Parliament to become law.