It is the largest cocaine shipment ever seized in the history of independent Lithuania, Commissioner General of Lithuania’s Police Linas Pernavas said.
“Almost 100 kilos of cocaine have been detained. The operation lasted for several years,” he told a press conference on Friday.
According to Pernavas, suspicions have been brought against 11 people, with nine of them detained, including a Colombian citizen who came to Lithuania.
The cocaine was hidden in a 250-ton shipment of coal. Five criminal police officers dig the coal to find the cocaine. “Five members of our staff dig the coal and picked those pieces,” Pernavas said.
The cocaine is worth EUR 10 million on the black market, officers say. They believe the shipment was meant for the Russian or European markets.
The drug traffickers set up fake companies in Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine to cover up their activity. The shipment arrived in the southern Lithuanian city of Alytus in ship containers. Following a police operation, the first suspects – two Alytus residents and a Colombian – were detained on July 3.
The suspects face up to 15 years in prison.