The largest quantity of cocaine ever seized in Thessaloniki and one of the largest in Greek territory, is that of 585 kilograms – of Latin American origin – detected in the last 24 hours by police officers of the General Affairs Department of the Thessaloniki Narcotics Prosecution Sub-Directorate, arresting five alleged members drug importation, possession and trafficking ring.

In addition to the impressive amount of cocaine – the value of which in the wholesale market varies from 11 to 33 million euros, while in retail if it is adulterated and “broken” into smaller doses it can even reach 175 million euros – the police were shocked by the symbol carried by some of the total of 500 confiscated parcels: the Nazi swastika. Dozens of packages with the logo of a car manufacturing company were also found.

Experienced executives of EL.AS. report that this is a common practice followed by Latin American cartels, i.e. to use logos, giving identity to the quantities of cocaine they prepare in their laboratories. More rarely – however – these logos are also used to show specific recipients of illegal loads.

According to information, the Nazi symbol was found last May on packages of cocaine that had been seized by the prosecuting authorities of Peru on a Liberian-flagged ship. The illegal cargo had started from the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador with a final destination in Europe, specifically Belgium. The operation that revealed the cargo of a total of 58 kilograms of cocaine (hidden in a container of asparagus) took place in the port of Peita, Peru.

Packages of cocaine with the swastika symbol were among dozens of other logos and the record amount of 9.5 tons of cocaine that Spanish authorities had blocked just last August in the port of Algeciras (in Andalucia, southern Spain). The mammoth quantities had started from Ecuador and were hidden among bananas.

The officers of the Thessaloniki Narcotics Prosecution Office speculate that the 585 kilograms of cocaine arrived in Thessaloniki in the previous period, through the city’s port. A small part of the drugs was to be trafficked in Greece, while the majority was destined to be channeled through Albania to Europe.

Four of those arrested are Albanian citizens and the fifth has Greek citizenship, but originally from Albania. The first four are androgynous and their two nieces. The arrested are being held and are expected to be brought to the criminal prosecution prosecutor of Thessaloniki tomorrow.