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Zurich police smash international drugs ring

Zurich cantonal police say 89 kilograms of heroin have been seized


Zurich police say they have broken up an international drugs ring following the arrest of 27 people and the seizure of 89 kilograms of heroin.

Police officials said all those arrested were male, aged between 23 and 40 and come from Macedonia, Albania and the former Yugoslavia.

The origin of the drugs bust dates back to 1999, when police launched an investigation into a 39-year-old Macedonian man.

The Zurich drugs squad later widened the field of enquiry, interviewing several suspected drug pushers in the Zurich area.

Between March and December 2000, police impounded six vehicles en route to Switzerland from Macedonia, each of which contained large quantities of heroin.

In August 2000, the trail towards the recent arrests shifted to Germany, where Berlin police arrested a 29-year-old Macedonian man found to be carrying 40kg of heroin.

Vaud drugs haul

In February of this year, police in canton Vaud made their biggest drugs haul to date when they seized six kilos of cocaine with a street value of SFr600,000 ($360,500).

Three men were arrested - an Italian, a Spaniard and a Portuguese - and a bank account containing hundreds of thousands of francs was frozen.

The drugs were seized at a construction firm outside the town of Lausanne in western Switzerland. Police believe the building company, which was set up two years ago, was acting as a cover for the drugs business.

The Italian man and his suspected second-in command, the 25-year-old Spaniard, are currently being held in custody, while the 24-year-old Portuguese has been provisionally released.

Police believe the cocaine was destined for users in and around French-speaking Switzerland and abroad.

swissinfo with agencies

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