At least 44 people were arrested during an international operation that mobilized 11 countries against a criminal network of drug trafficking, money laundering and illicit enrichment, considered “one of the most dangerous” in the European Union.
Europol (European Police Office) and Eurojust (Judicial Cooperation Unit of the European Union) announced that the “unprecedented” international operation resulted in the arrest of 44 suspects belonging to “a high-risk criminal network”, after a investigation revealed that several groups are cooperating to “carry out activities inside and outside the European Union (EU)”.
With the coordination of the two European agencies, which have their headquarters in The Hague (Netherlands), arrests were registered in Lithuania (seven arrested), Czech Republic (nine), France (nine), Slovakia (seven), Latvia (five), Poland (two), Norway (two), Germany (one), Spain (one) and the United States (one).
Last Tuesday, judicial and police authorities from the 11 countries involved in the operation carried out a total of 94 searches across Europe of the properties of leaders of the criminal network and its collaborators, who were active in Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Germany and Slovakia.
Agents also seized large quantities of several illicit drugs, including cocaine, hashish, cannabis and methamphetamine.
🇧🇷The network is linked to the main drug trafficking organizations outside the EU🇧🇷 Highly flexible, these criminals quickly adapt to new methods of drug trafficking, to try to circumvent the law. Drug shipments were found on ships and trucks, hidden in sophisticated compartments,” Europol said.
The European agency also revealed that the criminal network in question is structured as a “business” with different groups and intermediaries, with the aim of “controlling the entire chain of drug trafficking, from organizing large drug shipments to distribution across Europe and beyond”.
The director of Europol’s European Center for Serious and Organized Crime, Jari Liukku, recalled that “criminals are good at cooperating across borders” and assured that “the success of this operation shows how powerful and comprehensive” joint initiatives by agencies from various countries can be against delinquents who are part of organized crime networks, “wherever they are”.