On 9 May 2016, 17 individuals (11 Greeks and 6 Albanians) from an organised crime network involved in large-scale drug trafficking were arrested in a coordinated law enforcement operation led by Greece and supported by Albania, Belgium and Europol. The network was mainly based in Greece and is suspected of having made hundreds of millions of euros by shipping narcotics to a number of European countries. Large quantities of cannabis and cocaine were shipped by road haulage companies settled in Bulgaria and Austria that served as front companies.
On the action day, a broad police operation was carried out in both Greece and Belgium. House searches resulted in the seizure of 698 kg of cannabis in Greece and 96.5 kg of hashish in Belgium. Fifteen targets were subsequently arrested in Greece and 2 in Belgium.
The investigation is still on-going and future arrests may be seen in the near future.
Europol supported this investigation by facilitating criminal intelligence analysis and providing operational support. Focal Point (FP) Cola is Europol’s team of specialists and analysts dedicated to tackling cocaine trafficking. Since 2001, FP Cola has been combating the activities of suspected criminal organisations and networks involved in producing, processing and trafficking cocaine, as well as pre-cursor chemicals and cutting agents.