The anti-drugs unit of the Cyprus police, YKAN, scored two major victories this week after a German was arrested at Paphos airport carrying 7,000 Ecstasy oils, while a Dutch woman was slapped with a 12-year jail sentence for bringing in nearly 14 kilos of cannabis last month.
YKAN chief Stelios Serghides said on Friday that although the drugs scene and the level of addiction and abuse was relatively lower in Cyprus than the rest of the EU, “we should not be at ease, as this is still deadly.”
So far this year, Serghides said that his unit had hauled 11 kilos of cocaine, which commentators estimate to have a street value of about US$400,000.
Serghides said that the arrests and jail terms were as a result of information and in some cases a level of cooperation in order to reduce their sentences.
The 64 year German was caught at Paphos airport on Thursday just after landing on board a flight from Brussels. Customs officials X-rayed his luggage and found a suspicious package hidden beneath the lining. This was biggest haul of Ecstasy pills, with the type being carried by the German labelled “power on/off”.
He was remanded for eight days by Paphos court.
Also on Thursday, the criminal court in Larnaca slapped a 12 year jail sentence on 26 year old Alexandra Montroos from Holland charged with the importr, possession and possession with the intent to supply 13.7 kilos of cannabis.
She was caught at the airport on a flight from Amsterdam via Bucharest. Following information received from YKAN, Customs officials pried open her suitcase after she claimed she had no knowledge of carrying anything illegal. In the case, the officials 14 vacuum sealed packages which the suspect claimed she was carrying for someone else.
Ashe told police she was paid 1,000 euros to carry the drugs and would get another 6,000 on delivery.
She eventually admitted she knew her luggage contained high-grade cannabis. The court-appointed defence lawyer tried to use the admissions and cooperation in order to reduce the sentence, as well as by appealing for her young age and the fact that she came from a large family with five other step siblings. He said she was a trained nurse but was out of work for a long time. But presiding judge Nicholas Sandis was not too keen to let her go so easily.
He passed two concurring jail terms of 12 years saying there was a need to impose preventive sentences on the scourge he called drugs, while there was greater need to protect society.
“The fact remains that she tried to spread death on our island and she ought to seriously consider the consequence of her actions.”
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