Estonia's biggest drug bust ever

  • 2000-02-24
  • By Jaclyn M. Sindrich
TALLINN – Five people and a house full of metamphetamine and lab equipment: a highly suspicious arrangement that was not to be for long.

The central police, in cooperation with the Tallinn police's narcotics division, uncovered the elaborate clandestine operation in Rapla county last week, seizing drugs worth 4 million kroons ($270 000). It went down as Estonia's biggest drug bust ever.

Nearly seven kilograms of the illegal white powder and an abundance of lab equipment were discovered by the police early on the morning of Feb. 16 as they entered the old farmhouse, undoubtedly giving its occupants an unforgettable surprise.

"But all went peacefully. We didn't have to use any arms," said central criminal police narcotic division commissar Mart Palo in a Baltic News Service report.

Police then located part two of the operation: a company in Tallinn, where they found three liters of a dubious yellow liquid – most likely liquid metamphetamine – and about 100 liters of a chemical used in the production of the narcotic.

Residents of Tallinn and Harju county, some of them with an earlier police record, were detained in the course of the two day-long operation, according to Estonian police spokesman Indrek Raudjalg. Specific details about the individuals will be not disclosed for the time being.

The metamphetamine's street value is 400 kroons a gram, Palo said. Last year, the Estonian police registered 297 drug related-crimes. An additional 468 people were caught for possession or use of small quantities of narcotic or psychedelic drugs without a prescription.