The Slovenia Times

Large-scale drug trafficking ring busted

A specialist police unit member. Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Slovenian police have busted a criminal organisation trafficking in cocaine, amphetamine and other illicit drugs following a four-year investigation that unofficially also targetted one of Slovenia's best known criminals.

The drug ring was extremely well organised and used encrypted means of communication, Damjan Apollonio, head of the organised crime department at the General Police Administration, told reporters in Maribor on 7 February, following the raids on 1 February in which 20 suspects were arrested.

A total of 250 police officers were involved in the raids in the areas of Maribor, Murska Sobota, Celje, Ljubljana and Koper. The different locations of arrests and house searches prove that there are strong ties between criminal groups in Slovenia, also on international level, Apollonio said.

Six and a half kilogrammes of cocaine were seized alongside six kilogrammes of amphetamine, a few grammes of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, three premises set up to grow cannabis, with 126 seedlings and ten kilograms of cannabis, as well as a large quantity of illicit drugs used in sport.

"If the suspects had sold the seized cannabis, cocaine and amphetamine on the market, they could have illegally gained around €650,000," said Stanko Vidovič, head of the Maribor crime department, adding that the investigation was one of the biggest the Maribor police pursued in recent years.

Out of 22 suspects so far, aged between 29 and 51, eight have been convicted in the past of drug offences and four of violent crimes. Six of them remain in detention due to the risk of re-offending. They face up to 15 years in prison.

Acting on a tip, the police launched the investigation in 2020 and gradually obtained enough information to make the arrests.

One of the suspects, who was allegedly supplying the illicit drugs, is reportedly Kristijan Kamenik, who had previously spent several years in prison on drug charges. He is known in public mainly because of a 1997 quadruple murder trial in which he was acquitted last year. The ruling is not yet final.

The police did not confirm or deny that he was one of the targetted individuals, as they are not disclosing any names.

Moreover, one of the suspects is reportedly a primary school teacher, who was arrested while there were no students around. The police could not confirm this, but they did say that "some activities also took place in one of the educational institutions". They did not find any drugs in the school.


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