Organized crime group smuggling marjuana smashed

Thanks to the cooperation of the Border Guard, the National Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Police Central Investigation Bureau, the Police Headquarters and the National Revenue Administration, as well as the Spanish and British services, with the support of Europol and Eurojust, another blow was struck on the international organized crime group.

The members of the group are suspected of smuggling 15 tons of marijuana worth PLN 440 million. According to investigators, the suspects have connections with hooligans of one of Krakow’s sports clubs. This time in Poland, officers of the Border Guard and CBŚP arrested five people, and brought another five from the Detention Center or the Correctional Facility, and three people fell into the hands of the Spanish services. There are several dozen suspects in the investigation – indictments have already been brought against some of them – and five people have been finally convicted.

The investigation is conducted by the Małopolska Branch of the Department for Organized Crime and Corruption of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow, together with officers of the Carpathian Border Guard Unit and police officers from the Krakow Central Investigation Bureau of Police. The findings show that the members of the group were active not only in Krakow, but also in other towns in Poland, as well as in Spain, Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Investigators show that members of an international organized crime group bought, smuggled and sold large amounts of narcotic drugs, mainly marijuana. Drugs were smuggled across borders, in specially constructed lockers, in vehicles or hidden in transported goods. Narcotic drugs came to Poland from Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. The collected material also shows that drugs were smuggled from Spain to Italy, Belgium, Germany and Great Britain. Subsequently, the drugs were distributed on the black market. According to investigators, in the years 2011-2017, an organized crime group carried out at least 162 smuggling – not less than 15 tons of marijuana – with a retail value of not less than PLN 440 million.

In order to clarify all the circumstances of the case, an international JIT with the British side was established. Actions were carried out with the support of Europol and Eurojust, including with Spanish law enforcement. Officers from the Police Headquarters and the Lublin Customs and Tax Office in Biała Podlaska also participated in the activities.

The first action took place in mid-2017, when suspects of smuggling 123 kg of marijuana from Germany to Poland were detained red-handed.

In September this year. activities were carried out in the Małopolskie, Śląskie and Dolnośląskie voivodeships, detaining 5 people, and another 5 brought from a correctional facility or a detention center. During the operations, machetes, incapacitating gases, knives, as well as computer equipment and IT data carriers were secured for thorough analysis. The suspects were charged with, inter alia, participation in an international organized crime group whose members were involved in intra-Community drug trafficking. In addition, the prosecutor of the Małopolska Branch of the Department for Organized Crime and Corruption of the National Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow presented four people (one person detained on the basis of an EAW in Spain) allegations of directing this group, i.e. Paweł Ł. Master, Łukasz S. ps. Kajko, Michał F. ps. Micz and Paweł F. ps. Dwarf. They may be imprisoned for up to 15 years.

The procedural steps were also carried out in Spain, where 3 people, also suspected of participating in an international organized crime group, were detained. At that time, computers, IT data carriers, mobile phones and live ammunition were secured. In one of the utility rooms, a plethora of Covid rapid tests were found, which were secured to clarify their legal origin.

On the basis of the collected evidence and at the prosecutor’s request, the court temporarily arrested 13 people. The prosecutor carried out property securities and extended confiscation to over PLN 12 million. 14 properties were secured in the form of plots of land, houses and apartments located in Kościelisko near Zakopane, Kraków, Sosnowiec, Gorlice and a BMW X5 car (worth approx. PLN 130 thousand).

So far, the investigation has brought four indictments concerning 18 members of an organized crime group smuggling large amounts of marijuana from Spain to Poland. Final convictions were passed in some cases. The case is still developmental and investigators do not rule out further arrests.