Italian police have made one of their biggest ever drug hauls. A quantity of heroin?
SV ZOOM OUT Trieste police and newsmen looking at confiscated heroin and hashish
CU Officials showing drugs to newsmen (4 shots)
SV PAN Newsmen taking photograph
CU Confiscated money being shown to newsmen
CU ZOOM OUT Official talking to press
SV & CU Officials putting bags of drugs and money on table (4 shots)
SV PAN Officials and newsmen looking at drugs on table
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Italian police have made one of their biggest ever drug hauls. A quantity of heroin and hashish -- worth between eight and sixteen million U.S. dollars -- was confiscated in the northern town of Trieste, near the border with Yugoslavia.
SYNOPSIS: Almost 25 killogrammes of heroin and 14 kilogrammes of hashish was displayed by Trieste police on Tuesday (27 November) -- the day the haul was made. Also confiscated was 150 million lira -- the equivalent of about twenty thousand U.S. dollars -- which police said was money obtained from the sale of other drugs. In all twenty-eight people were arrested. Most of them were Turks but included, police said, Moroccans, Syrians -- and some women. They acted as couriers and concealed the drug packages in heavy overcoats when crossing the Italian border from Yugoslavia.
Trieste police said the couriers were paid the small sum of about 1,500 Turkish liras -- or about fifteen U.S. dollars -- for their services. If found guilty in the Italian courts, the couriers are likely to spend between ten and fifteen years in prison. Those responsible for organising the smuggling ring -- thought to be Italians -- have yet to be arrested.
The heroin and hashish are thought to have been headed for Milan, the centre of Italy's flourishing black market. Police in Trieste said that over the past few weeks there had been a sudden increase in the number of travellers arriving from inner Turkey. Most of them were wearing heavy overcoats -- and this aroused suspicions, later proved correct. The Italian-Yugoslav border is thought to be one of main channels for heavy drugs for the Near East bound for Western Europe.