Lithuanian law enforcement cracks drug-smuggling ring

  • 2000-08-17
VILNIUS (BNS) - After a nine-month investigation, Lithuanian law enforcement officials have uncovered a well-organized group of criminals who allegedly smuggled drugs into Lithuania and other Baltic states from illegal labs in Poland, Police Department's spokesman said on Aug. 10.

Lithuanian police believe the successful operation cracked one of the key drug-trafficking routes to Lithuania.

The police department's drug units in cooperation with officials of other law enforcement institutions arrested on Aug. 8 three Lithuanian citizens on charges of dealing drugs and psychotropic substances. They face up to 16 years in prison if convicted.

The department's spokesman said that the three men attempted to sell about 1 kilogram of amphetamine, 44 grams of heroin and 1.5 grams of cocaine.

The amphetamine's price was set at 24,000 litas ($6,000) and the heroin's at 5,400 litas ($1,350).

The amount of narcotic substances seized would make 30,000 doses of amphetamine and 650 doses of heroin estimated at total value of 500,000 litas ($125,000) on the black market.

The arrests capped a nine-month investigation of a well-organized drug-dealing ring in Lithuania. The leader of the organization, who the police identify only as "Rimas", is now hiding abroad, according to police. He is suspected in a number of crimes committed earlier and of masterminding drug-trafficking channels between Poland and Belarus.

Commissar Algis Kvai-nickas of the police department said that last year police infiltrated the ring with an undercover agent who helped uncover the network of drug suppliers and dealers.

Leaders and other members of the organization were exposed in cooperation with police of neighboring states. Police believe the amphetamine came from four illegal laboratories in Poland through the Lazdijai border-crossing station. The heroin, police believe, was trafficked via Medininkai checkpoint from Belarus.