At least 44 people have been arrested during an international operation that mobilized eleven countries against a high-risk criminal network, considered by the authorities as “one of the most dangerous” in the European Union (EU), involved in drug trafficking, money laundering and illicit enrichment, among other crimes.
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Europol and Eurojust announced this Friday that the “unprecedented” international operation has resulted in the arrest of 44 suspected of belonging to “a high-risk criminal network”, after an investigation showed that various groups are cooperating to “carry out large-scale polycriminal activities inside and outside the EU”.
With the coordination of the two European agencies, which have their headquarters in The Hague (Netherlands), the arrests are divided between Lithuania (7 detainees), the Czech Republic (9), France (9), Slovakia (7), Latvia ( 5), Poland (2), Norway (2), Germany (1), Spain (1), United States (1).
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Last Tuesday, judicial and police authorities from the eleven countries involved in the operation carried out a total of 94 searches throughout Europe on properties belonging to leaders of the criminal network and their collaborators, who were actively operating in Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Germany and Slovakia.
Agents also seized large amounts of various illicit drugs, including cocaine, hashish, cannabis, and methamphetamine.
“The network would be linked to the main drug trafficking organizations outside the EU. Highly flexible, these criminals quickly adapt to new methods of drug trafficking in an attempt to evade the law. Drug shipments have been found in ships and trucks, among others, hidden in sophisticated compartments,” Europol added.
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The network is structured as a “business” with different groups and intermediaries working across borders to “control the entire chain of drug trafficking, from organizing large drug shipments to distribution across Europe and beyond.”
The director of Europol’s Center for Serious 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 far-reaching operations can be.” joint efforts against these criminals “regardless of where they are”.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.