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Police seize marijuana smuggled by criminal network

Police seize marijuana smuggled by criminal network

by Heledd PRITCHARD 22.07.2022 From our online archive
Grand Duchy’s authorities have seized increasing amount of illegal drugs
Around 43kg of marijuana was found in a van in Luxembourg
Around 43kg of marijuana was found in a van in Luxembourg
Photo credit: Polizei Wuppertal

Luxembourg police seized more than 40kg of marijuana after a year-long investigation into a cross-border drug smuggling ring, German police said.

The investigation led by police in the Wuppertal area of Germany, near Dusseldorf, targeted people suspected of smuggling marijuana from Spain to Germany via Luxembourg, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Luxembourg police, working with officers in France and Germany, stopped a van in mid-May, a spokesperson for Luxembourg's public prosecutor said on Thursday. The van was carrying 43kg of marijuana, said Wuppertal police, which issued a first statement on the case on Thursday.

One suspect, who showed officers a false German ID card, is in custody in Luxembourg and waiting to appear before the courts, the Germany police statement said. Two other suspects were arrested after a European arrest warrant was issued and are due to be transferred to Germany.

The Grand Duchy’s border authorities seized more illegal drugs last year, with the volume of potentially deadly heroin increasing by a third over 2020, Luxembourg’s Customs and Excise Agency (ADA) reported earlier this year.

Around 540 grams of heroin was confiscated by the ADA in 2021, nearly 34% more than the previous year. Customs officers also found nearly 32,000g of hashish last year compared to almost 143g of the compressed and processed cannabis substance confiscated in 2020.

Luxembourg has taken a first step to legalising recreational cannabis, launching a watered down proposal which allows people to grow the drug at home. Justice Minister Sam Tanson has introduced a new law which would allow people to grow up to four plants at home, although people must keep them out of sight and can only consume the drug at home.

Luxembourg drew international attention when the coalition gained power in 2018 with promises of a much more ambitious reform that was to include legalising producing, selling and consuming cannabis.

(Additional reporting by Dustin Mertes)

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