chapter  16
13 Pages

Europe

A drug-smuggling exercise that went wrong for the traffickers and was uncovered in 1992 is typical of the way drugs are brought into Europe, the routes taken, and the nationalities involved, especially once Eastern Europe had opened up to more normal relations with Western Europe following the end of the Cold War. On November 20, 1992, a consignment of 350 kilograms (772 pounds) of cocaine was seized in Hamburg on board a Russian cargo ship from Panama. The drugs were hidden in shipments of fake "Reebok" sports shoes and blue jeans. They were then to transit through Poland and be re-exported to Western Europe. The three Poles who came to pick up the cargo were arrested, as was the mastermind behind the whole operation, a Nigerian who was arrested in Frankfurt.