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Police bust drug-dealing operation in empty central Athens building

Police on Saturday announced the bust of a 24-hour "drugs supermarket" supplying all kinds of drugs and operating out of an empty building near the Athens University of Economics and Business, on Antoniadou Street.

Police on Saturday announced the bust of a 24-hour "drugs supermarket" supplying all kinds of drugs and operating out of an empty building near the Athens University of Economics and Business, on Antoniadou Street.

In a coordinated raid on Friday, authorities swept in and arrested 10 suspected members of the gang, all of them Afghan or Pakistani nationals. The suspected leader of the gang, which operated two 12-hour shifts throughout the day, was a 28-year-old Afghan man who gave the orders and collected the receipts.

The gang had caches of drugs stashed in five apartments and a bar in central Athens, which they would take to the empty house on Antoniadou street and store in the basement. The sellers would then dispense drugs to customers through holes in the walls and windows, while lookouts on the street would keep watch for the police.

The operation was discovered through a systematic and methodical investigation by the drugs squad, which organised a series of simultaneous raids on the five apartments and the 'sales point' used by the drug-dealing ring.

In these, police found 733 packets of heroin weighing 1.3885 kilos, 607 packages of cannabis weighing 20.411 kilos, four bars and 20 packets of processed cannabis weighing 1.433 kilos, six packets of cocaine weighing 151.9 grammes, 221 packets of crystal meth (shisha) weighing 531 grammes, 2,221.5 ecstasy pills, 67 pharmaceutical pills, a 6.35-calibre pistol, an air gun, a replica gun, 88 bullets, 3,651 euros and 6 U.S. dollars, four sets of precision scales, 20 mobile phones, four phonebooks and notes recording drug sales, various weapons (brass knuckles, knives, swords, clubs) and implements used to prepare and package drugs.

In addition to the 10 suspects, police also arrested a foreign woman for drug possession and violating weapons laws, as well as detaining another four foreign nationals, three of whom were sent to the Attica migration department for deportation.

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