Austrian state Carinthia reports massive drug issues

Carinthia has become a centre for the significant expansion of drug smuggling in recent years, complicated by handoffs being made in private quarters. [Shutterstock / Couperfield]

Drug smuggling in the southern state of Carinthia has increased significantly with hard drugs like cocaine and heroin being smuggled via the Balkan route, the courts have warned.

“We used to talk about grams, but today we talk about kilos even for hard drugs like cocaine or heroin,” explained Christian Liebhauser on behalf of the state court, noting a significant uptick in narcotics cases in a report carried by orf.

Carinthia has become a centre for the significant expansion of drug smuggling in recent years, complicated by handoffs being made in private quarters, said state criminal officer Karl Schnitzer, adding that the drugs tended to be sold off quickly.

In early December, Carinthia saw three men tried for selling close to ten kilos of heroin. The case was followed by state-wide police raids on 13 December at 16 different locations, which saw the arrest of eleven suspects charged with trading cocaine.

The operation was one of the largest in history, noted the head of the state criminal office Gottlieb Türk, adding that close to 300 officers had taken part.

The operation the officers targeted had been smuggling cocaine from Slovenia into Austria.

(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer | EURACTIV.de)

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