NEWS

Zoniana drug link to foreign gangs

Police are looking into possible links between organized crime suspects in the village of Zoniana on Crete and international drug-trafficking rings, as their investigation in the area deepens following the shooting of an officer there earlier this month. Police have uncovered dozens of guns and large quantities of drugs, including cannabis and cocaine, after an officer was shot in the head during a police raid on the mountainous village. The officer remains in critical condition. Senior police sources said suspected drug dealers in the broader Zoniana area may be linked with traffickers in Holland and Latin America after authorities found 2.5 kilos of cocaine. The cocaine found was 60 percent pure, which suggests that it had not yet changed hands among drug dealers, as it had not been cut, said a police source. It is normally only 20 percent pure when sold to users, the source added. Authorities say they have yet to uncover the large numbers of drugs believed to be hidden in the area but said they are confident of finding them. Meanwhile, a Rethymnon court yesterday handed down 12- and eight-month jail sentences respectively to two men found in illegal possession of firearms. A 23-year-old man, who turned himself in to police in Iraklion last week, has also been remanded in custody pending trial.