150 People Arrested in US-European Drug Sales Investigation

US federal law enforcement agencies and the European Union’s law enforcement agency, Europol, announced arrests to stop a global operation selling illegal drugs over the internet.

Officials at the US Department of Justice said they arrested 150 people accused of selling illegal drugs, including counterfeit opioids (painkillers) and cocaine, through so-called darknet.

Lisa Monaco, US Deputy Attorney General, said, thanks to unprecedented international law enforcement cooperation, 150 drug dealers darknet have been arrested worldwide, including 65 of them in the US.

Police destroy packages of cocaine before drugs are burned in Panama City, April 1, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Jasso)

Police destroy packages of cocaine before drugs are burned in Panama City, April 1, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Jasso)

Other arrests were made in Australia, England, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The 10-month concerted operation, Operation HunTor, resulted in the seizure of 234 kilograms of drugs, which included amphetamines, cocaine and opioids or pain relievers worth more than 31 million dollars.

Investigators say the counterfeit drugs are mainly made in laboratories in Mexico using chemicals imported from China. Prosecutors have also targeted drug dealers who operate home laboratories to produce fake painkillers.

The international police agency Europol works closely with the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) team of the US Department of Justice.

US officials said the investigation was continuing and that more arrests were expected. [uh/ab]

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