Police seize 20 pct of Czech made drugs -- drug centre head says

Published on November 1, 2006, Ceske Noviny

Category: Organized Crime in Kosovo

Prague- Czech police seize an average of 20 percent of drugs produced in the Czech Republic, National Drug Centre (NPC) director Jiri Komorous told journalists today, adding that the USA has about the same average success rate.

Komorous said that during 15 years of its existence, the NPC has seized 13 tonnes of drugs and 93,000 pills of ecstasy, all worth hundreds of millions of crowns, in 1340 actions.

It detained 2,500 perpetrators, including about one fifth of foreigners, Komorous said.

He said that the Czech Republic is a drug producer, a drug transit state and the target of drug producers and sellers of late as well.

The Czech Republic is crossed by the Balkan heroin path, the path from the Netherlands from where synthetic drugs are imported as well as the South American path along which cocaine is imported.

The transfer of heroin from Afghanistan has also been massively spread. Another transit country is Poland, while west European countries and the United States are target countries.

"This year we expect a record production of opium in Afghanistan. We suppose that more than 6,000 tonnes will be produced," Komorous said.

"The assortment of drugs produced and consumed on Czech territory corresponds to the European trend and includes mainly synthetic drugs, particularly ecstasy imported from the Netherlands. Heroin still keeps in the sphere of opiates," said Komorous who has headed the NPC since its establishment.

One of the biggest actions in which the NPC participated in the 15 years together with other European police units was operation Andromeda.

In it a Kosovo-Albanian gang that operated all over of Europe was busted. Policemen in various countries, in cooperation with Swiss and German colleagues, seized more than 100 kilograms of heroin and detained 96 people. The gang was completely paralysed, Komorous said.

He said the operation was "specific in that a Czech policeman was deployed on the territory of another state while liaison officers from other countries operated in this country."

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