ATHENS – Greek police on July 11 swept the anarchist stronghold of Exarchia to root out a drug gang.
The area has been the scene of conflicts between anarchists and drug dealers and a guerrilla group said it killed a drug dealer from Egypt to send a message.
Police sent in some 65 officers and arrested 12 suspects, 10 Albanian nationals and two Greeks – believed to be behind a larger drug-trafficking network working the neighborhood for at least a decade, police said. The dealers were said to have battled frequently with anarchists who dominate there.
“This was an extremely successful operation that was the result of planning and gathering information over several months,” Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas said of the crackdown, which included searches on homes and professional premises.
“An operation of this scale had not been conducted in this area for more than 30 years,” the minister told the ANA-MPA news agency. “The group that was dismantled was not made up of small-scale dealers.”
Police seized 16 kilograms of cannabis, as well as cocaine and other narcotic substances.