15 arrested in crystal meth raids by German, Czech police

15 arrested in crystal meth raids by German, Czech police

Thursday, November 13, 2014 12:33 pm

German and Czech police have arrested 15 suspects in coordinated raids against a crystal meth drug ring, police in Germany said Thursday.

They said they confiscated 2.9 tonnes of the precursor chemical ephedrine, enough to make methamphetamine with a street value of 184 million euros ($230 million).

German police said they arrested eight suspects in 24 raids in and near the eastern city of Leipzig early this month, while Czech police had made seven arrests in Prague.

While guns were found in the Czech raids, police in Germany said they confiscated ammunition, stolen travel documents, 600,000 euros and dozens of mobile telephones.

The chief suspect was a 32-year-old German chemicals and pharmaceuticals trader, who had ordered the manufacture of the precursor in another European country for use in Czech drug labs, police said in a statement.

German federal police chief Joerg Ziercke said the manufacture of the precursor in Europe was “a novelty” because until now “chemicals for large-scale production of illegal drugs have been almost exclusively sourced from China”.

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