Italy: Three Tonne Hash Seizure Linked to Polish Network

A joint European police operation has led to the seizure of more than three tonnes of hashish off Italy’s coast, dealing another blow to a Polish-led criminal network that has been under investigation for two years, Europol said Wednesday.

 Footage from the seizure (Photo: authorities arrested two Polish nationals and confiscated 3.3 tonnes of hashish after boarding a Polish flagged ship in July, Europol said.

Police say the organization, based in the Spanish province of Granada, had been under investigation since 2014 as it shipped drugs from Morocco to Europe.

The alleged leader of the network, a Polish national identified as Tomasz K. or “Klapa,” was arrested in Spain on July 26 following investigations by Polish, German and Spanish law enforcement. The gang is accused of crimes including murder, extortion and kidnapping.

Parallel investigations have led to a series of raids on the group and the seizure of assets including cars and boats. Different authorities have given varying totals of how many group members have been arrested so far. While Europol said 13 members have been arrested, Spain’s Civil Guard put the number at 19. The Polish Border Guard said 23 Polish citizens have been detained.