A record amount of 2.5 tons of cocaine was seized by police in a container in Constanta Port, on a vessel coming from South America and Romania was a transit country on the way to the European market.
Sources among the investigators said that the estimated market value of the 2.5 tonnes of cocaine is of EUR 625 million.
Five people, foreign nationals, were detained by investigators.
A quarter of the captured cargo was brought to the DIICOT headquarters on Friday, in 50 bags, loaded in three cars. The event was attended by DIICOT prosecutors and by the Directorate for Fighting Organised Crime with the Romanian Police.
The police are now trying to determine the purity of the drug. It is estimated that the cocaine has a purity of almost 100%.
It is the largest drug seizure in the port of Constanta.
In January 2009, the DIICOT Constanta prosecutors and the Squad for Fighting Organized Crime seized inside Constanta Port more than one ton of cocaine. So far it was the largest seizure. The drugs were brought from Brazil by a network of Romanian and Spanish traffickers.
Operation completed by 150 police officers
“The investigation lasted six months and the Romanian authorities have collaborated with the US and Spain to arrest the traffickers. The group was headed by a man of Moroccan origin.
It is the largest quantity of cocaine ever seized on Romanian territory and I think it is one of the largest in Europe in recent years,” DIICOT head Daniel Horodniceanu said.
The head of the network was a man of Moroccan origin, but with Spanish and Dutch. He was arrested in Spain.
Five persons were arrested in Romania – four Lithuanians and a Colombian. They are accused of international drug trafficking.
They arrived in Romania five days ago to remove the drugs from the container and transport them to the Netherlands, the country of destination.
The network had a special workshop for extracting drugs. Specialists worked there to extract cocaine, coordinated by the Colombian citizen.
Then, drugs were to be transported by leased trucks sent from the Netherlands. Officially, they would have transported marble, the cocaine was expected to be hidden in the truck or in the cargo.
The drugs were wrapped in 10 packages, including substances that made them undetectable by rays and dogs.
Undercover police took part to the unloading of the cargo from the container. That was the moment when the five individuals were arrested.
150 police officers participated in the operation in Romania.
After being analyzed, the drugs will be destroyed.