Police in Vienna on Thursday, December 29th, arrested 50 people in connection with a Nigerian drug ring which operated in the Austrian capital. Investigators said they had been on the trail of the gang for the past three years, and that in that time it has netted a profit of over €6 million. 21 kilos of illegal drugs, mainly cocaine and heroin, were seized during the raids.
However, police told a press conference on Friday that the gang would probably cut the drugs with other substances to increase the amount that could be sold on the street to around 100 kilos. The drugs were mainly sold in Vienna by Nigerian dealers. Detective Georg Rabensteiner said that 100 kilos of drugs would “cover” demand in Vienna for a few months.
Police first became aware of the gang’s existence at the end of 2012, when a Nigerian man was caught smuggling €250,000 in cash hidden within cars which were brought from Vienna to Nigeria. An investigation revealed that the money came from drug trafficking. Gang members regularly sent over large amounts of drugs to Austria via ten people who acted as drug mules.
The couriers would swallow between one and one and a half kilograms of drugs, which were then sold in Vienna. Police said that the cocaine and heroin which was seized was 80 percent pure.