Hundreds arrested as European police net huge haul of synthetic drugs worth millions

2019-10-11 17:05
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European police seized drugs worth 85m euros and arrested hundreds of suspects during a continent-wide sweep last month, Europol announced on Friday.

The operation called "Joint Action Days 2019" in mid and late September not only targeted the trade in synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances, but also human trafficking, migrant smuggling and environmental crime, the Hague-based law agency said.

Led by the Polish Central Bureau of Investigation and joined by 15 other member states, the sting conducted by more than 37 000 officers "targeted drug traffickers across Europe", Europol said.

"These activities brought in an important hit on drug trafficking networks, pulling drugs worth more than 85m euros ($93.5m) out of the illegal market," Europol said, quoting preliminary results.

This was a "huge hit to the European drug market", it added.

The haul included the seizure of 11.3 tons of MAPA precursor, used in the manufacturing of amphetamines.

Depending on how it was made, this quantity of MAPA drug base would have been enough to produce 6.3 tons of amphetamines, a mood-altering drug "worth nearly 63m euros on the European market".

Police also confiscated 1.3 tons of cocaine, 19 600 ecstasy pills, 22kg of cannabis and 1 107 cannabis plants, 10.6kg of amphetamines and 6kg of the drug MDMA.

In all, police arrested 411 people and identified 54 potential victims of human trafficking.

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