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Police conduct international drug sweep

Police searching for chemicals used to make the date-rape drug GHB have raided more than 600 homes and offices in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.

This content was published on July 9, 2008 - 19:01

Bavarian state investigators, who coordinated the international operation, said on Wednesday the raids followed months of investigations launched after police became suspicious of online orders for GBL, a chemical found in industrial cleaners.

The legal chemical can be used to manufacture GHB, a potent depressant sometimes called the date-rape drug. The GBL orders were placed by two chemical wholesalers based near Munich and in northern Germany.

Swiss police searched a number of houses in 17 cantons according to the Federal Police Office. Some of the searched premises allegedly housed laboratories for the production of synthetic drugs.

Federal Police Office spokesman Guido Balmer said that the people and companies targeted were not necessarily connected and the operation was not aimed at dismantling a trafficking network.

In Austria, Interior Ministry spokesman Rudolf Gollia said three houses were searched in the states of Carinthia, Lower Austria and Styria, where a possible drug lab was found.

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