Eight people are to be prosecuted in relation to the case of a truck which was stopped in Turkey while transporting substances intended for the production of heroin. They include five Slovenians, one Croat, one Slovak and one Hungarian. The case will be tried by the Trnava District Court, the TASR newswire wrote on Thursday, November 22.
Two people of Slovenian nationality, identified as Alen Ž. and Sebastian L., were charged at the end of May with participation in the unauthorised disposal of anhydride of acetic acid. The head of the department of special cases at the General Prosecutor’s Office, Peter Šufliarsky, informed the SITA newswire that for these two suspects a trial date had now been set for December. He added that they both committed crimes as members of an organised group, which made it a more serious crime. If convicted, they face 20 to 25 years in prison. The other people now being prosecuted were charged later.
The investigation dates back to 2010, when a Czech truck driver was arrested in Turkey. An international police sting operation, supported by seven countries and aimed at arresting a gang of drug traffickers, went awry and the unsuspecting driver transporting the substance from Slovakia to Turkey ended up in jail. Slovak police tracked the truck from Dunajská Streda to Istanbul, Turkey. The documentation said that the vehicle was carrying 15 tonnes of disinfectant but in reality it was carrying the contraband chemical, used in heroin production. The truck left Slovakia on December 10, 2010, and reached Turkey four days later, at which point the suspected drug traffickers were supposed to have been arrested. However, the receiving company said that it had not ordered any chemicals and the police operation fell flat.
The Turkish police arrested the driver even though they were supposed to have known that the truck was part of the police operation. The driver was then banned from entering Turkey for one year, preventing the driver from performing his job, as his company specialised in shipping items to Turkey.
Slovakia said that it had not made any mistakes and followed the original plan and that the error was made by Turkish police. Nevertheless, the Slovak government compensated the Czech driver with €25,000. Police chief Tibor Gašpar, citing an official inquiry, reasserted that Slovak police made no mistakes in the case and did not neglect any of their duties, TASR reported.
Sources: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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