An international plot to deliver 100kg of South American cocaine and 150kg of cannabis to Croatia has been caught after European customs, including Malta’s, raised the alarm about the shipment.
Operation NANA was led by Croatian Police and roped in the help of Customs authorities from all over the world. Authorities from Colombia, Germany, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Panama, Slovenia, Spain, the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States (US DEA) and Europol were involved in the operation.
The cocaine is suspected to come from Colombia.
The ship carrying the container filled with large, hollow pieces of scrap metal had reached Europe after leaving Panama. It arrived in Algeciras port in Spain, where a call was put out among European authorities to keep the ship under surveillance until reaching Malta.
The Maltese Customs sent the ship for a scan in some newly installed equipment upon reaching the island, and the scan results of certain parts of the shipment raised their suspicions further.
The ship’s next destination was set to be Rijeka, Croatia, so Maltese Customs contacted Croatian Customs and, after planning the next steps of the operation with them, decided to let the ship continue to Croatia.
The ship, which left Malta on March 6th, was caught and the container seized in Zagreb, Croatia on 8th March.
Police also arrested 9 people in connection with the ship, among them six Croats, a Dutch person, a Spaniard, a Columbian, and a Bosnian Herzegovinian.