Cooperation between Greek and Saudi authorities led to the discovery of a huge shipment of processed cannabis at Greece’s main port of Piraeus.
Arab News described this cooperation as “a new chapter in expanding bilateral cooperation between Athens and Riyadh” and that “this specific case shows that cooperation on intelligence issues can be critical.”
The SDOE, Greece’s financial crimes squad, said the drugs were uncovered following a tip-off from the US Drug Enforcement Agency and cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
The shipping container, whose registered contents were three industrial cupcake-making machines, arrived by sea from Lebanon on April 14 but was discovered with a tip-off from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
It has been scheduled for departure by rail to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava after passing through North Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.
Greek authorities raided the container on April 16 and uncovered 4.3 tons of processed cannabis hidden inside a compartment built into a metal tank among the machinery.
According to some estimates, the seized narcotics had a potential street value of €33 million (almost $39.6 million).
George Tzogopoulos, a senior fellow at the Institute of European and International Studies and research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, commented on this drug bust.
“The help provided by Saudi Arabia to Greek authorities in seizing tons of cannabis exhibits the potential in exchanging intelligence information for common purposes,” he said.
He added that this cooperation is highlights how “Greece traditionally enjoys warm relations with Arab countries.”
“In this respect, ties with Gulf countries and with Saudi Arabia have been strengthened and they recently reached new heights with the visit of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos to Riyadh,” Tzogopoulos continued.
“The nature of the developing collaboration allows the two countries to embark on various projects of common interest,” he concluded.