Officials confirmed on May 20 that Romanian authorities have seized 1,452 kilograms (3,200 pounds) of heroin at a Black Sea terminal, making it one of the largest heroin seizures in the European Union in recent years.
According to Romania’s anti-organized crime department, the heroin, which was smuggled among construction supplies in two containers bound for Western Europe, reportedly came from Iran and was intercepted on May 10 at the Port of Constanta.
Situated on the western coast of the Black Sea in Constanța, Romania, the Port of Constanța is favored for its geographical location connecting with two major Pan-European transport corridors.
It was the second-largest heroin bust in the European Union in recent years, according to the department, which called it a “historical seizure.” According to a statement, the drugs were transported by a criminal network made up of Romanian and foreign nationals.
Three homes in Romania were raided on Thursday, and five further searches were carried out in two Western European countries.
Romania said it had requested assistance from a range of organizations, including officials from the US Drug Enforcement Administration at the US Embassy, as well as Europol and Eurojust from the EU. The move was backed by judicial officials in eight EU countries.
Romania, especially the Port of Constanta, has an undesirable record of drug seizure cases. In early September of last year, in the port of Constanta, Romanian investigators from the Anti-Organized Crime Directorate (DIICOT) and police officers discovered almost 1.5 tonnes of opium and over 4 million Captagon pills (751 kg) in a container. The confiscated drugs had an estimated market value of EUR 80 million, as the Romanian Police and DIICOT had said.
While the weed and pills were smuggled into the Romanian port in boxes of organic soap last year, construction materials were used to hide the heroin this time.