Police seize record 500k synthetic drugs

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Cypriot authorities have seized half a tonne of synthetic narcotics, the largest quantity ever found in Cyprus.

According to police spokesperson Christos Andreou, the synthetic narcotic substance is methadone, found in a customs warehouse at the old Larnaca airport.

These narcotics were transported to Cyprus by air from India and were concealed in cardboard barrels. The estimated value of the seized substance is in the millions of euros.

Authorities are investigating to determine whether the narcotics were intended for re-export to another country.

It is the largest quantity of narcotics ever seized in Cyprus and one of the biggest cases investigated by the Drug Law Enforcement Unit. They have already informed INTERPOL and Europol about the discovery.

Acting on specific information, a search was conducted at a warehouse of a customs clearance company in Larnaca on Wednesday, where 50 cardboard barrels were found containing a crystalline substance weighing 500 kilograms.

It was determined that the barrels contained methadone, widely used for producing hard narcotics.

The initial indications suggest the narcotics were likely intended for re-export to another EU country, and Cyprus might have been used as a transit point.

No arrests have been made.

Methadone is a powerful stimulant and psychoactive narcotic drug, similar to amphetamines, and is used for manufacturing crystal methamphetamine and synthetic cocaine.

The largest narcotics case ever investigated in Cyprus involved the re-export of 628 kilograms of ecstasy (MDMA) concealed in 200 Cypriot-made barbecues, seized in 2019 by Australian authorities.

Cyprus Police tipped off Australian authorities of a potential large ecstasy shipment in a container from Limassol bound for Sydney.

A 59-year-old Cypriot man was jailed for 23 years in 2022 after pleading guilty to his involvement in the biggest drug bust involving Cyprus or Australia.