2 Bulgarians Detained in International Cocaine Bust

Crime | June 21, 2012, Thursday // 19:29|  views

Interior Minster Tsvetan Tsvetanov has reported about two Bulgarians detained within an international police operation against cocaine trafficking. Photo by Sofia News Agency

Two Bulgarians have been detained within an international police operation codenamed "Phoenix" targeting cocaine trafficking, according to Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

Tsvetanov told journalists Thursday evening that the operation had started in the beginning of 2012 and its first success was a crackdown on 1.2 tons of cocaine in the Caribbean basin.

Bulgaria's Interior Minister added that one of the Bulgarians had been living in the Czech Republic and the other one in Norway.

He further suggested that the two Bulgarians had been deeply involved in the crime because they had participated in the organization of the trafficking scheme.

The two suspects have no prior convictions and have been monitored since 2010 by Bulgarian and Norwegian special services.

At a later stage of "Phoenix", the coordination of the operation was taken over by Europol.

Tsvetanov stressed that there had been an arrangement with Europol to keep silent about the operation during its initial stages to prevent a failure.

He noted that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had also actively participated in the investigation.

The Interior Minister told journalists that a meeting between Bulgarian and Indonesian special services and DEA would be held soon to coordinate the counteraction to cocaine imports from South America to Indonesia.

He specified that the operation in question had been codenamed "Cocaine Kings" and a Bulgarian national had already been detained as part of it.

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Tags: Cocaine, drug traffciking, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Drug Enforcement Administration, Europol


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