Bulgaria seizes record haul of heroin precursor

September 13, 2010 12:00 am

, SOFIA, Sep 13 – Bulgarian border police seized Monday a record 13.1 tonnes of a key chemical used in heroin production, and two people have been arrested, the interior ministry announced.

The chemical acetic anhydride, seized at the southeastern Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint with Turkey, is enough to make around 5,200 kilogrammes (11,440 pounds) of heroin, experts estimate.

The precursor was seized in a truck loaded with paper rolls that concealed 13 cans of the chemical, the customs agency said.

It was travelling from Hungary to Turkey, it added.

The interior ministry had initially put the quantity of the chemical at about 10 tonnes.

"This is the biggest ever haul of acetic anhydride seized in Bulgaria," Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said, adding that two arrestes were made.

Some eight tonnes of the chemical were found in a house outside Sofia in April during a joint operation of the Bulgarian interior ministry and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Both DEA and the European police office Europol, as well as Hungarian and Romanian police, contributed to the police operation on Monday, he added.

Bulgaria lies at the major drug-trafficking route from the Middle East to Central Europe and seizes each year an average 1,000 kilogrammes of heroin on its borders.



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