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Czech police charge 60 with drug smuggling to Australia

AFP  |  Prague 

said today they had charged 60 people with drug trafficking after busting a ring and to via the and

"The group was led by three Vietnamese organisers, one active in the and the other two in other countries," Barbora Kudlackova, for the National Anti-Drug Centre, told AFP.

She said the ringleaders hired mostly impoverished or indebted Czech nationals as couriers.

Working in pairs, the couriers booked a holiday in Australia, flying via the US or with four suitcases that were swapped during the stopover.

"The drug was hidden in the luggage in a way that prevented its discovery by or a sniffer dog," said Kudlackova.

Each suitcase contained five kilos of the drug, meaning 20 kilos of or were smuggled into during each trip.

The gang is suspected of having managed to smuggle more than 700 kilogrammes of drugs.

"In alone, sixty people have been charged so far," police said in a statement, also confirming that one ringleader was in custody.

All face between 10-18 years behind bars if found guilty. have detained four couriers, three of whom have been sentenced to 7-9 years in prison, said Kudlackova.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 01:35 IST