How Saudi-Greek intelligence sharing delivered a big blow to Hezbollah’s drug operations

Greek authorities raided the container & uncovered 4.3 tons of cannabis hidden inside a compartment built into a metal tank among the machinery

The assistance recently provided to Greek authorities by the drug-enforcement agency of Saudi Arabia (GNDC/SA), which led to the discovery of a huge shipment of processed cannabis at Greece’s main port of Piraeus, marks a new chapter in expanding bilateral cooperation between Athens and Riyadh.

The two countries have shown willingness to boost their defense ties, but this specific case shows that cooperation on intelligence issues can be critical.

“The help provided by Saudi Arabia to Greek authorities in seizing tons of cannabis exhibits the potential in exchanging intelligence information for common purposes,” George Tzogopoulos, senior fellow at the Institute of European and International Studies and research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, told Arab News.

The SDOE, Greece’s financial crimes squad, said the drugs were uncovered following a tip-off from the US Drug Enforcement Agency. The shipping container, whose registered contents were three industrial cupcake-making machines, arrived by sea from Lebanon on April 14.

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It has been scheduled for departure by rail to Bratislava, Slovakia a few days later, passing through North Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.

Greek authorities raided the container on April 16 and uncovered 4.3 tons of processed cannabis hidden inside a compartment built into a metal tank among the machinery.

According to some estimates, the seized narcotics had a potential street value of €33 million (almost $39.6 million).

Read more: Arab News