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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-07-12

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Record cocaine haul seized in Thessaloniki
  • [02] Situation in Athens center a 'spreading bomb', minister says

  • [01] Record cocaine haul seized in Thessaloniki


    Police in Thessaloniki confiscated 167.9 kilos of unadulterated cocaine that came from Latin America, one of the largest quantities of the drug ever seized in northern Greece with a street value of 15 million euros, it was announced on Wednesday.

    Four men, two Bulgarians aged 50 and 58, a 43-year-old Spanish national and a Portuguese aged 40, all members of an international drug trafficking ring, were arrested in a joint operation conducted by local police and US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents.

    The cocaine arrived last week at the Thessaloniki port in a container but its exact route from Latin America to Greece remains unclear.

    The two Bulgarians were arrested en route to Athens and in their car police found and seized 36 kilos and 393 grams of cocaine. A police search in a second vehicle parked outside a Thessaloniki hotel where the other two suspects were staying revealed 131 kilos and 584 grams of the drug.

    [02] Situation in Athens center a 'spreading bomb', minister says

    AMNA/ The situation in the center of Athens is a "bomb" that is constantly spreading, public order and citizens' protection minister Nikos Dendias said Thursday, adding that "I cannot stand by and watch the centers of cities being taken over one after the other".

    "There is no reason in my being the minister of public order and watch this bomb continually spreading. This situation is no longer tolerable," Dendias said, noting that he visited, by himself, all the problem areas such as Omonia Square and its surrounds, Kypseli, Aghios Panteleimonas, etc.

    "What I saw surpasses the imagination. We have safety problems and cannot operate as we did five years ago," Dendias said, in his first meeting with reporters covering the ministry since the new coalition government was sworn in, while he also referred to the intense problem of illegal migration.

    Dendias said that given this situation and society's demands on the police and fired department, there could be no further cuts in the salaries of policemen and firemen.

    On the contrary, he announced a streamlining in other areas, noting characteristically that checks would be made into why the police spend 36 million euros a year in fuel, 19 million euros a year in rents and 13 million euros a year for the maintenance of its 13,768 vehicles.

    He announced that a committee of senior officers would be set up that will also examine the issue of guarding targets and individuals, for which 3,500 policemen are assigned

    Dendias further said that construction of the fence along the Evros River would proceed, as well as the immigrant holding centers.

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