In a joint operation, Hungarian and Croatian police took into custody ten members of a criminal group that distributed online designer drugs and made an estimated 400 million forint (€1.15 million) in illicit profits over the past two years, Hungarian police announced on its website.
Police said that in a coordinated raid on June 11, the two countries’ police forces took into custody seven people in Hungary, including a 36-year-old man only identified as Vilmos Z. (Hungarian law does not allow the release of full names before conviction) and six of his accomplices in the country, while three other members of the group were apprehended in Croatia and an extradition procedure for the three is underway.
According to the Hungarian National Investigative Office, the criminal gang has been operating for two years. They purchased the designer drugs online from abroad with cryptocurrency and then sold it Hungary online, distributing them through courier services and regular post.
Police said that in the two years, the group conducted at least 14,000 transactions and their trade volume was so large that they employed a dedicated IT specialist and one responsible for logistics. The Hungarian side of the operation alone made a profit of 200 million forints (€576,000). During the raid in Hungary, police impounded 14 real estate properties, several luxury vehicles as well as cash and jewelry whose worth was not disclosed.
On the Croatian side, police impounded 30 million forints worth of cash in various currencies, one luxury car and ten mobile phones. Police said several members of the group have prior convictions for drug distribution. They also said that the group had an estimated 80 percent market share of Hungary’s designer drug scene.
Hungarian police also made another large drug bust earlier this year that involved over 200 officers.
Title image: Hungarian police take into custody a member of the Hungarian-Croatian online drug ring in Szigetvár, southern Hungary. (source: police.hu)