INTRODUCTION: A Cypriot ship carrying over ten tons of marijuana has been arrested at Isthmia near the Corinth ship canal following a gunbattle aboard the vessel.
INTRODUCTION: A Cypriot ship carrying over ten tons of marijuana has been arrested at Isthmia near the Corinth ship canal following a gunbattle aboard the vessel. The marijuana - in concentrated hashish form - is worth an estimated 100 million U.S. dollars.
SYNOPSIS: The 450-ton cargo carrier "Gloria" was bound from Beirut in Lebanon to a north European port. Mr. Alexander Popadangonas, Greek Minister of Merchant Marine, said that his office had been alerted following a tip-off that a ship heavily laden with narcotics would be crossing Greek waters.
Five crew members, three Greek Cypriots and two Turkish Cypriots, were arrested. The Turks, who had pistols and 500 rounds of ammunition, surrendered only after police had fired some 100 shots into the ship.
When the captain of the "Gloria" was first questioned about his cargo, he said it was textiles. The shipment of hashish, weighing 10,700 kilos, was the largest ever seized in Greece. The two Turks, Arif Polak and his nephew, Rezik Polak, are charged with illegal trade, drug smuggling and illegal possession of arms.
The three Greek crewmen of the "Gloria" have since been set free. Officials said there was no evidence they were involved in the smuggling.