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Police bust international Balkan cocaine cartel

Posted at 7:36 AM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-25 10:36:46-04

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — European Union police agency Europol says an international operation has smashed a Balkan crime ring that transported cocaine from South America to Europe in private planes.

Europol announced Thursday the operation led to 11 arrests in Europe and five in Asia along with the seizure of more than a ton of cocaine and 2 million euros ($2.2 million) in cash. Europol says the Balkan drug traffickers used private planes to move cocaine between South America and Europe and shipped drugs to Hong Kong and Macao in Asia.

Croatian police launched the investigation in early 2018, which spread to include law enforcement authorities from South America, Asia and across Europe as well as country offices of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Europol and EU border agency Frontex.