• Germany edition
 
Police bag biggest-ever crystal meth haul
Photo: DPA

Police bag biggest-ever crystal meth haul

Published: 18 Apr 2013 11:32 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Apr 2013 11:32 GMT+02:00

Police said they found the massive stash of crystal methamphetamine, also known as crystal or meth, when inspecting a box of wooden statues which arrived by air from the western African nation last Friday. The carvings also held three kilos of cocaine, said police in a statement on Wednesday.

Narcotics officials in Cologne suspect the record stash was the work of an international drug ring believed to be smuggling narcotics through the western German city of Cologne.

Airport officials had been put on high alert after a 55-year-old woman from Cologne was arrested in Tokyo at the end of March. She had been caught trying to smuggle around four kilogrammes of crystal meth into Japan - also hidden in wooden African statues.

Customs officials became suspicious when similar statues arrived at Cologne/Bonn Airport last week. On cracking open the hollow carvings, police said they found the crystal meth and cocaine wrapped in plastic bags inside.

Later that day two men aged 21 and 40 were arrested when they tried to pick up their delivery. Upon searching their flat, along with three others in the Cologne area, police said they found "extensive evidence," confirming the existence of the drug ring. A 24-year-old Nigerian suspected of working as a gang accomplice, was also arrested.

The find is the biggest in a series of crystal meth smuggling hauls discovered in recent weeks in Germany. Five suspects were arrested at the end of March in Leipzig accused of bringing the trend drug in from the Czech Republic.

Authorities across Europe are increasingly concerned by a rapid growth in the use of highly addictive and cheap meth in recent years. The synthetic drug, typically manufactured in kitchen labs, often tests positive for battery acid, rat poison and other poisonous substances.

Effects include euphoria, raised self esteem and loss of fear, tiredness, hunger and pain - feelings which can very quickly make users badly hooked. The physical and psychological effects on users have been known to be devastating.

The Local/DPA/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'We're camping for six days outside Apple store'
Photo: The Local

'We're camping for six days outside Apple store'

Most holidaymakers on a week-long camping trip pitch up by lakes or next to the beach. But two Berliners are hoping to break a record by settling in for six days outside the city's Apple Store to be the first to get their hands on new iPhone 6. READ  

Auschwitz guard charged over 300,000 deaths
The gates at the former concentration camp of Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Auschwitz guard charged over 300,000 deaths

A 93-year old man from Lower Saxony will stand trial for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder at the Auschwitz death camp while a member of the Waffen-SS. READ  

Germany can't crack 'CIA double agent' laptop
Photo: DPA

Germany can't crack 'CIA double agent' laptop

An alleged CIA double agent secured his laptop so well that German secret services have failed to crack it since he was arrested in July, according to reports. READ  

Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Some of the cast of Orange is the New Black at a photocall in Mexico. Photo: DPA

Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)

UPDATE: TV streaming service Netflix opened its virtual doors in Germany on Tuesday in the face of stiff competition from existing players. Users will be able to watch shows in English too. READ  

Lufthansa pilots abandon Frankfurt strike plans
Ready to go again. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots abandon Frankfurt strike plans

UPDATE: Pilots' union Cockpit has announced that a planned strike at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday has been called off. READ  

One of these men will be Berlin's next mayor
Jan Stöß, Raed Saleh, Michael Müller Photo: DPA

One of these men will be Berlin's next mayor

Three men are hoping to become Berlin’s next mayor after Klaus Wowereit steps down in December. With nominations closing on Monday, The Local looks at the three politicians who want to lead the city. READ  

Hotels hike up prices six-fold for Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA

Hotels hike up prices six-fold for Oktoberfest

As an estimated six million people get ready to raise their glasses for the annual Oktoberfest in Munich, hotels are raising their prices by as much as six times their regular rates. READ  

Police pin down Lidl meat needle culprit
A CCTV of the suspect released by police. Photo: Lübeck Polizei

Police pin down Lidl meat needle culprit

A woman has come forward to admit hiding needles in packets of meat in discount supermarkets after CCTV images enabled police to pick up the thread of the investigation. READ  

Germany puts first 'Isis jihadist' on trial
Kreshnik Berisha in court in Frankfurt on Monday. Photo: DPA

Germany puts first 'Isis jihadist' on trial

UPDATE: An alleged German jihadist went on trial on Monday accused of fighting for the Islamic State in Syria group, amid calls for tougher action to prevent attacks in Europe by the militants. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'Three types of firms are hiring foreigners'
Photo: Shutterstock

'Three types of firms are hiring foreigners'

What kind of companies are hiring foreigners in Germany? And which type of firm should you target for your next career move? Recruitment expert Chris Pyak reveals all to JobTalk. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
National
Neo-Nazis are attacking newspaper offices
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Election night in Brandenburg and Thuringia
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Berlin spy station sees tourism boom
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany officially bans terror group Isis
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: DPA
Politics
Are Germans right to want cooler relations with USA?
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Photo: Facebook
National
Bavarian waiter breaks beer-carrying record
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten German place names that make us giggle
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,264
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd