Three Greek citizens accused of being a part of a drug smuggling ring operating in Northern Greece were arrested on Sunday. The smugglers allegedly brought 55.5 kilograms (1957 ounces) of cannabis as well as two deadly weapons into Greece before being arrested and having their cargo seized.
The men were apprehended in Kilkis, Northern Greece, where Greek police also managed to confiscate 139 bullets, the mens’ phones, and €3,350 ($4,034).
Alleged drug smuggling ring busted in Kilkis
The police charge unknown members of the smuggling ring of bringing the three bags of raw cannabis and weapons across the Greek border and handing them to an individual, who has now been arrested.
This individual allegedly brought the cargo to two other men in Kilkis, who then drove them into the city of Thessaloniki in two vehicles. There, the men were stopped by police and arrested.
A fourth individual has been identified but not yet arrested in connection to the case in Thessaloniki.
Multiple drug rings operating in Greece
There have been several arrests over the past few days in connection with drug smuggling into Greece. Drug smugglers attempted to smuggle more than five kilograms (176 ounces) of heroin into Greece from Turkey on Sunday.
Using a plastic boat, they crossed the Evros River before being arrested the same day.
Similar events occurred at the Greek-Albanian border on Saturday, where several individuals were arrested in an alleged attempt to smuggle over more than fifty kilograms (110 pounds) of cannabis.
The men were apprehended by Greek Border police with the help of Frontex (the European Border and Coast Guard Agency) forces. The cannabis which was discovered hidden within luggage, was supposed to be handed over to other individuals part of the Greek drug ring for distribution.
Drug use becoming more prevalent during pandemic
Daily analysis of wastewater in Attica, conducted by a special research team at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, has shown an alarming spike in drug abuse, especially cocaine, and the use of psychiatric medications amongst its citizens in the past year.
According to the team’s findings, cocaine use in March of 2020, when the nation’s first lockdown was put in place, doubled compared to March of 2019.