Prague, July 20 (CTK) – The Czech and Swedish drug police teams arrested seven people on suspicion of making 3.5 tonnes of amphetamine hard drug in the first laboratory for this drug uncovered in the Czech Republic, National Anti-drug Centre chief Jakub Frydrych told reporters yesterday.
The drug could be sold in Sweden for almost one billion crowns.
The seven accused face up to 18 years in prison.
Four people were detained in Prague and the Liberec Region, north Bohemia.
“Two have partially confessed to criminal activities,” state attorney Petra Zilova told CTK.
The investigation is in the initial phase only as the police raid occurred two weeks ago, on July 6-7, Zilova said.
Another three suspects were arrested in Sweden where the main organiser of the drug crime lived.
Swedish investigator Jimmy Arkenheim told reporters that the Swedish police knew all of them. They were entangled in similar crimes for 10-20 years.
They all will be extradited for prosecution to the Czech Republic within 30 days, Zilova said.
The first Czech amphetamine lab was found near the centre of Jablonec nad Nisou, north Bohemia. The perpetrators were very efficient being able to make several dozen kilos of the drug in one cycle, which is more that the biggest known labs for pervitin (methamphetamine) in the Czech Republic make, Frydrych said.
The police found 700 litres of chemical substances for the drug production and 600 litres of waste in the lab.
According to the police, the gang delivered amphetamine to almost the whole of Sweden, mainly to the Malmoe area, for five years.
Swedish detectives say amphetamine is the most popular drug after marijuana on the Swedish drug scene. Crime is the lifestyle of these drug addicts, Arkenheim said.
Only a minimum of the drug ended up in the Czech Republic where pervitin is much more popular, Frydrych said.
The main organiser of the gang secured its financing and he ordered drugs, while other members managed couriers and distribution or were making the drug. The gang did not communicate by mobile phones or the Internet, but its members met personally in various places in Europe.
The police seized cars, real estate and cash for over 16 million crowns from the Czech branch of the gang.
The international police team, including Czechs, Swedes as well as detectives from Hungary, came across the gang in 2014. In the past, this team detained seven amphetamine couriers with 93 kilos of the drug.