Police charge six in historic drug bust

Illustrative photo: Czech Television

In a joint operation with German investigators, police in the Czech Republic arrested six people in one of the single biggest drug bust in Czech history: 14 kilos of pervetin were seized. Two Czechs and four Vietnamese nationals were caught in the operation. On the street, the 14 kilos are valued at more than four million crowns.

Illustrative photo: Czech Television
There are drugs busts and then there is this: a seizure of 14 kilos of the Czech methamphetamine known as pervetin, ready to go, much of it likely destined for illegal sale in neighbouring Austria or Germany. Czech investigators say they have rarely seen anything like it; in the operation, investigators uncovered four illegal labs operating across the country: not only the capital Prague but also the regions of South Bohemia and Karlovy Vary. Together, the gang produced up to dozens of kilos of pervetin a day.

Jaromír Badin, the head of Prague’s anti-drug unit, told Czech TV the amount of the drug seized in one operation was unparalleled. He had never seen anything like it in 23 years of service.

“I have never seen this much confiscated at once, nor did I expect to ever see anything like it.”

Jaromír Badin,  photo: Czech Television
The lab in Prague was located in a house in the district of Smíchov not far from a major highway; along with the drug itself, investigators found around 100 kilos of substances used in its production, and another five tonnes of toxic material. Police investigator Jaromír Badin made clear there was no way anyone could live at the address now due to residual toxic waste.

“All the surfaces would have to be removed: the walls, the ceilings, floors, everything, because of the aggressiveness of the all the chemicals used. No normal person could live there.”

According to some estimates, gangs illegally produce some 3.5 tonnes of pervetin in the Czech Republic each year, much of it smuggled over the border. The interim prime minister, Jiří Rusnok, as well as the prime minister of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, who met this week, agreed better cooperation was needed to regulate medicines and an materials used in pervetin production. Currently, many medicines are brought in from Poland. Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok:

Photo: Filip Jandourek,  Czech Radio
“We apparently need a European agreement, or at the very least one with our neighbours, on the strict regulation of the availability of raw ingredients used in production.”

Saxony’s prime minister, meanwhile made clear in his view education over the dangers of the drug were a necessity, to try and prevent especially young people from falling victim to drug abuse.