Prague, June 7 (CTK) – The Czech police have arrested 17 people accused of supplying chemicals for pervitin (methamphetamine) production and building large laboratories, in which an estimated several tonnes of the drug were made, Jakub Frydrych, director of the National Drug Centre, said today.

The accused face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty, he added.

The police are convinced that the criminal gang was behind the operation of all large pertivin-making laboratories in the country since 2012, Frydrych said.

He said the drug was mainly destined for Austria, Germany, Poland, Scandinavian countries and also the domestic market.

According to the police, this is one of the most important operations against drug-makers in the past decade.

Frydrych said a major part of the gang members were citizens of Vietnamese nationality.

He said the gang supplied its products to customers in the turnkey form and that it used many vehicles and people to transfer the substances.

The group hid the substances in intermediate stores, which were often situated in common housing areas, Frydrych said.

He said the gang imported white phosphor from Italy and it bought other chemicals from wholesale outlets in the Czech Republic.

“They are substances that have broad legal uses,” Frydrych said, such as lyes, acids and solvents.

He said another 36 people have been accused in connected criminal proceedings in the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland. This part of the case involves the drug makers.

In home searches, the police found about 4.5 tonnes of various chemicals, of which more than 2.5 tonnes of pervitin could be made.

They also seized two large laboratories, 15 kilograms of pervitin and seven million crowns in cash.

($1=23.393 crowns)