May 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Cocaine bananas: ownerless cargo

The role of two port officers allegedly involved in the case of a 100-kilogram (99.9 kg to be exact) cocaine shipment that was found hidden in a container of bananas destined for a vegetable market wholesaler in Renty is being investigated in absolute secrecy.

The container arrived from Venezuela. Oddly enough, when he arrived at the port of Piraeus, suddenly at some point a hole appeared in the packaging, revealing illegal cargo – bags of cocaine.

The incident occurred three years ago, when newspapers were full of reports that there were drugs in a container among bananas. According to the same sources, two port officers were present, who notified the service and immediately opened a case, without waiting for who would come for the cargo and where the drugs would end up.

An investigation by the Piraeus prosecutor's office followed, but nothing more could be established at that time, since the greengrocer (and recipient) of the banana shipment stated that he did not know about the 100-kilogram package of cocaine found in the container. Therefore, law enforcement had no other evidence linking the wholesaler to this case.

The prosecutor's investigation continued, a criminal case was opened against unknown people for a shipment of cocaine, which, however, remained “ownerless”! The investigator who accepted the case closed the case materials and sent the case to the archives.

However, in the meantime, the observant prosecutor noticed one detail: according to the rules established in the police preliminary investigation, the authorities (and in this case the coast guard), when they have information that is considered reliable, never intervene immediately and usually monitor the development of events in order to achieve the arrest of criminals.

On the contrary, when they consider information to be unfounded, they intervene immediately. In the case of a cargo of 100 kg of cocaine, although the information turned out to be reliable, port officials did not follow the rules for monitoring the cargo, but rudely intervened and seized it prematurely without finding out where it was going. The cocaine shipment was then confiscated and burned.

Meanwhile Last December, a ten-member criminal organization was busted involving two senior Coast Guard officers involved in the cocaine trade.. There is reason to believe that they decided to “push” cocaine that was intended for disposal and stored in a service warehouse.

In fact, one of them was the head of the security service of the Central Port of Piraeus with the rank of pilot. At the same time, in fact, he also held the position of head of the regional anti-drug group, an agency created in 2008. Another arrestee, who had the rank of officer, was the one who had a certain amount of drugs (about 8 kg) stored in his house. Eight more people were arrested along with them, and it turned out that the role of coordinator of the criminal organization was performed by a 71-year-old woman in a pre-trial detention center!

All of the above are pieces of a puzzle that the Maritime Court (Ναυτοδικείο) is currently investigating. It turns out where the seized 100 kg of cocaine (which was allegedly burned) went, and who exactly was selling the “orphan” batch of drugs.

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