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A FORMER policeman believed to be connected to an international drug trafficking ring was arrested on Tuesday night.

In a police sting that began at Tuesday noon and ended yesterday morning in Larnaca and Nicosia, police arrested four people on suspicion of possessing and selling cocaine.

According to Drug Squad Chief Charalambos Ioannou, police acted on a tip-off and put a number of targets under surveillance in Nicosia. One of the men and a female companion were followed driving to Larnaca at midday on Tuesday. Stopping the car for a search, police found 210 grams of cocaine.

The 35-year-old Cypriot and his 38-year-old Romanian passenger were arrested on the spot.

While the arrest was taking place, the Drug Squad raided the former policeman’s home in Nicosia and found a further six grams of cocaine, resulting in the 38-year-old’s arrest.

Ioannou said the sting continued until yesterday morning, with the police making a fourth arrest – this time a 34-year-old Polish woman – after finding 210 grams of cocaine in her bag, as well as a further 239 grams and €45,500 cash in her apartment.

All the evidence was confiscated by police.

The operation has not yet finished, Ioannou explained, as there was believed to be another foreigner involved – said to be the brains behind the ring.

The man in question left Cyprus a few days ago, while police have decided to involve Interpol to help locate him.

Asked about the drugs’ origin, the Drug Squad chief doubted they had come from the occupied areas. The cocaine, which was rock hard and shaped in small cylinders, was pure and officers said they had only seen such a quality once or twice before in Cyprus.

Ioannou also confirmed that one of the detainees was a former policeman, who was fired from the force on suspicion of being involved in drug trafficking.

The suspects will be led to Larnaca District Court today.

By Jacqueline Theodoulou, Cyprus Mail, October 10, 2008
|||Former policeman arrested in cocaine sting
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