SLOVAKIA’S special prosecutor’s office has charged two Slovenes with trading in Anhydride acetic acid that can be used in the production of heroine. The charges against the two men came 18 months after a Czech truck driver, unknowingly participating in a police sting operation, had to spend Christmas 2010 in a Turkish prison, the TASR newswire reported.

The international sting operation, supported by seven countries and aimed at arresting a gang of drug traffickers, went awry and the unsuspecting driver, Zdeněk Pekara, who carried the chemical from Slovakia to Turkey, landed in jail at the end of 2010.

Slovak police tracked the truck from Dunajská Streda to Istanbul, Turkey. The documentation said that the driver was carrying 15 tonnes of a disinfectant but in fact his truck had the contraband chemical used in heroin production. The truck left Slovakia on December 10 and reached Turkey four days later when it was supposed to reel in the suspected drug traffickers. However, the receiving company said that it had not ordered any chemicals and the police sting operation fell apart.

The Turkish police arrested the driver even though they supposedly knew the truck was part of a police operation. The driver was then banned from entering Turkey for one year, preventing him from performing his job, as the company specialises in shipping items to Turkey, according to the Sme daily.

Immediately after the arrest Slovak police informed their Turkish counterparts that the driver was part of an international police operation to arrest drug dealers and that he did not know anything about the goods he was transporting.

The Slovak police said that they did not understand why the Turkish police had acted as they did, as they had already been informed about the operation, and claimed that no mistakes were made by the Slovak police during the course of the sting operation. Nevertheless, the Slovak government gave the Czech driver €25,000 in compensation.

Investigation of the international drug gang continued and on June 18 Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar announced that charges were brought against two Slovene citizens, Sebastian M. and Alen Ž. who reportedly belong to a group of 11 people who organised transit of 10,000 litres of the chemical, worth €300,000, from Slovakia to Turkey. One of the men is also accused of possession of an illegal armament. Both men are currently in custody.

Altogether 25 witnesses were interviewed in the investigation and police searched six homes, Gašpar said, as reported by TASR.

The two Slovenes could face prison sentences from 25 years to life if found guilty.