MORE THAN TWO tonnes of heroin have been discovered in Greek warehouses in as many weeks, in what authorities says is Europe’s largest ever seizure of the drug.
Close to a tonne was found by police in a warehouse near Athens on Friday, just over a week after an even bigger haul in the city.
Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsioti said that the discoveries constituted “the largest amount of heroin ever seized in Europe”.
Friday’s haul of 986.6 kg had been brought into Greece on a tanker, which has also been seized, the Greek port police said Sunday.
The tanker, named Noorl, is a Togo-flagged ship belonging to a Greek company whose name has not yet been released.
Fourteen arrests were made in connection with Friday’s seizure in Koropi, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Athens.
Those arrested included 10 tanker crew members, among them five Turkish nationals, and the Greek head of the company that owns the ship. Three others implicated in the affair were also detained.
That seizure came shortly after another major bust, on June 12, when 1.113 tonnes of heroin was found in another warehouse in the city.
The raid was carried out in coordination with the US Drug Enforcement Adminstration, the Greek coastguard said in a statement. Eleven people were arrested following that discovery, including a shipowner.
The illegal drug was meant to be transported by truck from Greece to markets around Europe.