745 kilograms of cocaine seized in Croatia in one of the largest police operations in the country
In a months-long joint action of the Croatian police and customs in the port of Rijeka, large quantities of cocaine were seized, and the results were presented by the customs officials. In the entire operation, a total of 745 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated value of over 20 million euros were seized, reported "Index.hr".
"Even when viewed individually, some of these seizures fall into the category of the ten largest seizures that have been made in Croatia. When we talk about the seized quantity of cocaine, it is the largest seizure in the history of the Croatian law enforcement forces, i.e. the police and customs," said the head of the Croatian National Police Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime, Mario Kovac.
The Assistant Director in the Croatian Department for Mobile Units of the Customs Administration, Predrag Juratovac, stated that during February, March, April and May, in cooperation with police officers, the Customs Administration conducted regular activities to suppress drug smuggling. The emphasis was placed on the traffic of containers arriving at the port of Rijeka.
The head of the Rijeka regional customs office, Andrej Franulović, said that it was a risk profiling operation.
"According to certain profiles, certain suspicious containers are singled out, which must be subjected to some kind of inspection, that is, unloading or just opening the container," said Franulović.
Shipments arrived from various South American countries, and the largest producers were Colombia, Bolivia and Peru. Drugs were smuggled from all the important sea ports, and these shipments did not come from one port, but there were several transshipment points. As for the route to Europe, organized crime groups were extracting cocaine where they thought it was safest, the press release said.
The chief of the coastal and mountain police, Hari Brnad, said that a year ago, almost 900 kilograms of cocaine were seized in the port of Rijeka in container traffic.
"This is high-purity cocaine, depending on the shipment, the purity is between 80 and 90 percent, the wholesale value of the cocaine is over 20 million euros, but when it starts to be sold on the street and mixed, the mass increases by five times. You can imagine the amount of drugs and what a blow this is to the organized crime groups that we have dealt with in our border work," added Brnad.