Prime Minister: We have halted huge contraband of cocaine

The interception of more than 3.2 tonnes of substances containing cocaine, the wholesale value of which oscillated around PLN 334 million, constitutes yet another success of the Polish services. Its market value would have reached PLN 3 billion. Thanks to the cooperation among the Central Bureau of Investigation of the National Police (CBŚP), the Border Guard and the State Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk, a significant amount of drugs will not hit the market. The cocaine was sent to Poland from Ecuador via Hamburg, hidden in frozen pineapple pulp. Three suspects of involvement in a criminal organisation have been apprehended in connection with the case.

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Photo: Adam Guz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland

We have managed to prevent contraband of considerable value. It is yet another success of the Polish services in their fight against the drug mafia said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during a conference with Mariusz Kamiński, Minister of the Interior and Administration. He explained that first, the contraband from Ecuador had arrived in Germany, where it had remained undetected. It was the Polish services that finally succeeded in doing so.

The Prime Minister stressed that the state should uphold the law and safety of citizens. He added that this prevented smuggling shows how much we care for the safety of the Polish people and others. The contraband was probably directed not only towards Polish people but also Scandinavia and Germany. The Polish services demonstrated higher vigilance Mateusz Morawiecki summed up.

Contraband detection – X-ray, dogs and chemical testing

One of Gdynia’s warehouses, owned by a legally operating business, was storing 144 metal barrels of frozen pineapple pulp with a capacity of 250 kilograms each. Ordered by one of the companies, the goods had been shipped by sea from Ecuador to the Port of Hamburg between 16 November and 13 December 2019, from where they had been transported to Gdynia by road.

Officers of the Maritime Regional Unit of Border Guard and Central Bureau of Investigation of the National Police (CBŚP) x-rayed the barrels, while the Border Guard’s detection dogs indicated that some of them contained drugs. Next, a chemistry expert was appointed to identify the contents of the barrels. Non-standard testing methods were employed due to the way the drugs had been concealed.

Three people suspected of involvement in a criminal organisation were arrested in connection with the case. Investigators are now looking into the involvement of other people and activities of the company which imported the drugs to Poland. Further detentions and interceptions are possible.

Minister Mariusz Kamiński emphasised that it was a historic achievement and proof of professionalism in the CBŚP, Police and Border Guard. He thanked the services involved for further great successes at a Pan-European level. He reminded that this year the CBŚP was celebrating 20 years of existence.

Recent big Police operations

In December 2019, the police prevented the smuggling of 2 tonnes of Cocaine from Colombia, worth about PLN 2 billion. The drugs were headed for the European Union.

An illegal drug factory and warehouse operated in the Greater Poland Voivodeship. Officers of the Pomeranian National Revenue Administration and CBŚP from Gdańsk broke up a group involved in large-scale smuggling of drugs, after many months of monitoring their activities across a number of voivodeships.

In March 2020, the police put a halt to a record-breaking smuggling operation involving heroin. The attempt was to smuggle 275 kilograms of the drug, worth about PLN 60 million. A drug smuggling channel joining the Middle East with South America was eliminated in the process.

This is the result of many months of work by police officers from the CBŚP, supervised by the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Gdansk. Officers of the National Revenue Administration also participated in the actions in Poland. The operations were carried out in Belgium, the Netherlands, Turkey and Poland, with the support of Europol.

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