Police in France smash 'huge Albanian heroin ring'

French police arrest suspects in Mulhouse, 16 October French police could be seen escorting suspects in Mulhouse

Related Stories

Prosecutors in France say police have smashed a "huge" Albanian heroin-trafficking network, making 42 arrests in eastern France and Germany.

Some 200 officers were involved in the raids, in which 39 people were arrested in the town of Mulhouse and a further three across the border in Germany.

About 50kg (110lb) of heroin cutting agents were seized, said Remi Coutin, a prosecutor in the region.

The ring had handled "hundreds of kilos of heroin", he added.

BBC map

"Investigators found that there was a huge heroin-trafficking network in Albanian and Kosovar [Kosovo Albanian] circles in the Mulhouse area and also in Switzerland and Germany," the prosecutor said.

Tuesday's early-morning raids followed an investigation launched in 2010 by frontier police over suspicions that ethnic Albanians were involved in a human-trafficking ring.

While the raids were led by France's agency for fighting illegal immigration, riot police and police commandos also took part "because of the extreme threat posed by certain suspects", France's Le Figaro newspaper reports.

In an unusual step, the alleged drug-smugglers trafficked a substantial part of the heroin into rural parts of the region, the paper adds.

It says the ring originated in Switzerland and Germany before setting up in eastern France.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Europe stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.