A huge blow to a cocaine trafficking ring in Thessaloniki ended with the arrest of four British nationals, who have been living in Greece for about one year.
The operation was staged following information from the Office of the American Drug Prosecution, based in Athens. .
For about six months, the US Drug Enforcement Administration has been aware of the circuitry that transported large quantities of cocaine from Colombia to Europe via Greece.
The British cartel had recently rented a luxury house for 2,000 euros per month in Kato Sholari by Thessaloniki.
Four British nationals have been arrested after nearly 300kg of cocaine – worth £42.5 million – was found stashed in a shipment of bananas from South America, authorities in Greece said on Friday.
The stash of cocaine was uncovered in a shipping conainer by Italian authorities last month as part of a wider operation to disrupt international drug traffickers.
The suspects were arrested at a rental home near the northern city of Thessaloniki on drug smuggling charges.
A gun, wads of cash and walkie-talkies were also discovered.
All four are men aged 38, 45, 48 and 52.
They are residents of London and Liverpool but police did not give any further details of their identities.
A video showed the four men, one of whom appeared to have his face covered, handcuffed and being led into a building.
A fifth British man, believed to be outside the country, was also wanted for questioning, police added.
According to information of local from voria.gr, the 41-year-old wanted man is highly networked with the Colombian cartels and traffics 10% of cocaine worldwide through his drug trafficking gang.
The Greek police operation took place in cooperation with the US DEA, the Guardia di Finanza Reggio Calabria and other Italian and Greek police services.
According to cnngreece, the cocaine has its origin in Colombia, is shipped with bananas from Ecudador and reaches Europe and Thessaloniki.
The seized drugs had been bound for other European countries and Australia, they added.
Police believe the 41-year-old exploits the close links he maintains with cocaine cartels and supplies huge quantities, while ensuring that he has close ties with various links in banana-producing countries such as Ecuador in order to load the cocaine always hidden in pallets. the bananas.
The “mastermind” has until recently lived in SE Athens, in a villa in the area of Vari, living a luxurious life and spending a lot of money. He is believed to be in Colombia by now.
Prior to their arrival in Athens, the group allegedly lived in the Netherlands and, as mentioned, often changed their place of residence so that their actions would not be perceived by the law enforcement authorities.
The gang had been reportedly renting also an apartment in Athens.
During the arrests on Thursday,, one of the detainees, the 45-year-old, attempted to grab the gun of a police officer. He is considered a very cruel and dangerous criminal, who -according to media information- is allegedly wanted by British authorities for murder.
The four Britons were taken to Thessaloniki Courthouse and are to face charges felony and misdemeanor charges as 300 kg cocaine were found in their possession.