Authorities arrest 30 in international cocaine gang

SOFIA Mon May 28, 2012 10:11pm IST

Related Topics

SOFIA (Reuters) - Thirty people were arrested in an international police operation to crush a major cocaine smuggling ring, the Bulgarian interior ministry said on Monday.

The arrests of 15 Bulgarians, 12 Italians, one Slovenian, one Romanian and one Georgian have been hailed as a success of cooperation between Bulgarian, Italian, French, Swiss and Spanish authorities.

"The cocaine had been sold in three areas in Italy," Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told a news conference after the police swoop, dubbed "Cocaine Kingpins".

Italian police said the gang was responsible for smuggling around 40 tonnes of cocaine in Italy per year.

Also arrested was Evelin Banev "Brendo", 47, a man Tsevtanov said was suspected of heading the gang in close cooperation with an Italian organisation.

"An amateur cannot smuggle 40 tonnes of cocaine annually," said Tsvetanov. "It's been done by well-organised representatives of organised crime."

Bulgarian Deputy Chief Prosecutor Galina Toneva said the gang members will be judged in Italy, adding they will most probably be charged with drug trafficking. The arrests were made in both Bulgaria and Italy.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Canada Shooting

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fighting Islamic State

Fighting Islamic State

Iraqi Kurds approve sending fighters to aid Syrian town.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000.  Full Article 

Double Murder

Double Murder

Thailand tourist murder suspects retract confessions.  Full Article 

Abducted Girls

Abducted Girls

Nigeria talks with Boko Haram but no sign of girls' release.  Full Article 

Bodies In Locker

Bodies In Locker

Woman charged after 6 infant bodies found in Canadian locker.  Full Article 

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia election tests transition from autocracy to democracy.  Full Article 

Pope's Agenda

Pope's Agenda

Pope Francis plays long game to reform Catholic Church.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage