Two Greeks remanded in custody for cocaine haul

Two of three Greek nationals arrested in connection with last week's major cocaine bust in Florina were on Wednesday remanded in custody.
The three were accused of belonging to an international drug-trafficking outfit responsible for bringing 123 kilos of cocaine from Bolivia to Thessaloniki port, having as their final destination the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
The two remanded in custody are a 45-year-old bank branch manager in Florina and a 50-year-old customs official at the Niki customs post.
A 32-year-old bank clerk working in the same branch was released after it transpired that he was not linked to the drug-trafficking organisation. He said he had become embroiled in the affair by the bank manager, who had asked him to collect information from his father who was a police officer, but stressed that he had refused.
According to a police investigation, the 45-year-old bank manager had arranged a fee of 500,000 euro in order to pick up the drugs from Thessaloniki port and transport them to FYROM. The customs official had links with other members of the ring and briefed them on developments.
Both men were caught based on recordings of their phone conversations, after authorities received permission to tap their phones. The drugs were found at Thessaloniki port in a container containing agricultural equipment.
The operation was coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and another nine individuals, both Serbs and FYROM residents, were arrested in neighbouring countries.

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