Czech police seized more marihuana last year than ever before. According to
the annual report of the Anti-Drug Centre released on Wednesday,
authorities confiscated 1.1 tonnes of the plant and uncovered 305
plantations, both of which are historical records.
The police also seized more than 93 kilos of pervitin and closed 264 make-shift labs where the methamphetamine was being cooked. After marihuana, pervitin is the most widespread drug in the Czech Republic. It is regularly smuggled into neighbouring Germany and Austria, but also as far as Scandinavia.
Police have cracked down on an organized crime gang peddling drugs in the
Czech Republic and neighbouring Austria.
Over 30 people were detained in a series of raids, of which 13 have been charged and 11 were remanded in custody.
Over the past year the gang sold over 120 kilos of marihuana and at least four kilos of crystal methamphetamine. If convicted those charged could face up to 18 years in prison.
The Czech anti-drug policy is among the most effective in the EU in spite
of a lower funding, the head of the National Monitoring Centre for Drugs
and Addiction Viktor Mravčík told journalists on Thursday in reaction to
a report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
Mravčík said that despite relatively low funding in this area the Czech Republic is successful in preventing infections and has the lowest hepatitis C infection rate among addicts in Europe. This is due to the high availability of disposable needles.
However he said that the network of treatment facilities in the country is insufficient and help is not always available to those who want to overcome their addiction.
Young Czechs remain at the top of the European ladder in the use of soft or
party drugs, according to a report by the European Centre for Drugs and
Thirty-seven percent of Czechs in the 15 to 16 age bracket said they smoked ‘pot,’ at least once, which is the highest figure in that age group across Europe.
In the 15 to 34 age group, 19.4 percent of Czechs said they had smoked marihuana at least once in the past 12 months, which ranked them third behind Italian and French respondents in the same age category.
Czechs also ranked high as regards the use of the party drug Ecstasy.
An appeals court in Greece has reduced the suspended sentences handed down
to two Czechs for photographing military facilities in the country, Mladá
fronta Dnes reported on Thursday. Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta were
previously given terms of two and a half years suspended for three years.
Now they are facing one and a half year terms, also suspended for three
Mr. Pezlar and Mr. Buchta were arrested on the Greek island of Limnos in 2012. They were reported to have taken photos at a military site near the Turkish border to use in creating a computer game.
Four people, including one Czech national, were arrested by Spanish police
in the town of Benidorm near Valencia over illegal drug distribution, a
Spanish website diarioinformacion.com reported on Wednesday.
The police seized 64 packages of cocaine and 400 pills of Viagra, which the group was planning to sell.
Jindřich Vobořil is stepping down as head of the National Anti-Drug
Agency after eight years on the job, Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes
reported on Friday.
According to the newspaper, Vobořil will leave the post at the end of July.
The paper reported he had cited personal reasons for leaving, including his family and having to commute regularly to the capital from Brno.
Before he steps down, he is to present the bureau’s strategy in the fight against addiction for the next nine-year bloc.
Prime Minister in resignation Andrej Babiš confirmed the decision was strictly the official’s own.
A Czech held in custody in Ukraine for illegally selling devices for
bugging phone calls is a former officer with the special police unit for
combating organised crime, the server of Czech public radio has revealed.
It identified the man as Luděk Vokal, drawing on information given by a local court.
Vokal was detained in custody on Wednesday with bail set at around 4,500 euros. He must stay in Ukraine to help police with the investigation and could face a jail sentence of four to seven years if found guilty.
Some Czech media reported that a Czech diplomat was also detained but later released in connection with the case. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had no information.
A majority of Czechs say they wouldn’t want to have drug addicts,
alcoholics, or individuals with criminal pasts as their neighbours,
according to a new poll by the CVVM agency conducted in the month of March.
Eighty-seven percent said they would not tolerate having drug addicts next
door, 73 percent said they couldn’t live next to an alcoholic, and 72
percent, next to someone with a criminal record.
Sixty-one percent said they would have an issue with living next to someone
with mental illness (a drop of nine percent compared to the previous
Thirty-one percent of those polled said they wouldn’t like to live next to a foreigner or someone with a different skin colour. More than 1,000 people took part in the survey.
The Czech ministry of Justice has said it has concluded a first round of
successful talks aimed at sealing an agreement with Pakistan on the
exchange of convicted citizens.
Czech officials were in Islamabad to discuss details mid-March. The hoped for deal would allow Czechs to serve out their sentences in their homeland.
The move has been prompted by the case of a 21-year-old Czech woman allegedly found in Pakistan in January with 10 kilos of heroin in her suitcase. Attempts to get her released on bail pending trial have not succeeded so far.
The ministry says the agreement could take effect and apply with immediately to ongoing cases.