Land­mark drug-smug­gling case opens to­day

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A court in Pi­raeus is to­day to be­gin hear­ing one of the big­gest drug-smug­gling cases in Greek history.

A to­tal of 33 peo­ple, 25 of whom are cur­rently in cus­tody, are to stand trial in con­nec­tion with the dis­cov­ery of more than 2 tons of heroin in Athens last year.

The drugs were shipped to Greece on board the Noor 1 cargo ship. Eleven of the sus­pects are mem­bers of the ship’s crew, all In­dian na- tion­als. The oth­ers charged in­clude a shipowner and a car dealer, as well as four Turk­ish na­tion­als.

Most of the sus­pects face charges of drug smug­gling and form­ing a crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Some oth­ers face ad­di­tional charges of fuel smug­gling as 18 tons of illegal fuel were found on board the ves­sel in eight tanks.

The drugs were found in a ware­house in Koropi, east of Athens, and at a villa in the north­ern sub­urb of Filothei in the sum­mer of last year. The drugs were de­stroyed in an in­cin­er­a­tor in an undis­closed area out­side Athens un­der the su­per­vi­sion of a pros­e­cu­tor.

The trial will go ahead de­spite the fact that the judge orig­i­nally slated to hear the case pulled out last week, cit­ing health prob­lems. The last-minute hitch prompted the Supreme Court to launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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