Police target Cyclades drugs

In a change in previous tactics, police have this summer been mounting major operations to catch drug users and dealers on the Cycladic Islands that have led them to make more than 80 arrests in the last few weeks, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Officers have taken more than 55 people, mainly Greeks and Italians, into custody on the popular island of Myconos since the beginning of July. Cocaine and cannabis were the most common drugs but police have also seized large quantities of ecstasy pills. «Drugs reach Myconos either through Greeks who have managed to set up distribution networks or Italians who fly to the island on charter flights, which have less stringent security measures,» a high-ranking officer in the Cyclades told Kathimerini on condition of anonymity. Sources said that 10 people have also been arrested on Ios since the beginning of June. Eight arrests were made on Paros and four on Santorini. Despite police efforts, it seems that drug users rather than dealers are the ones being caught. The arrests on the four islands have resulted in the seizure of only 150 grams of heroin and 850 grams of cannabis. Police have also targeted Cycladic islands that are less popular with foreign tourists, such as Anafi, in a bid to stamp their authority. A 12-man squad recently raided a beach on Anafi in the belief that substantial quantities of drugs were being traded there. However, officers only found 25 grams of cannabis. Seven people were arrested on suspicion of drug offenses. The unnamed officer told Kathimerini that the operation did not have the expected result but said that the police were trying to show that lawlessness would not be tolerated on the more remote Cycladic islands.