Twenty-two people have been charged in connection with drug smuggling into a Příbram prison; 12 of those charged are prisoners. Among the suspects are friends and relatives of prisoners at the jail. Five of the accused are women; if found guilty, the suspects, between the ages of 21 and 63, face a sentence of up to 10 years.
Police have detained 17 people charged with supplying chemicals for the production of the drug pervitin and the creation of a lab to produce it. Police estimated the lab had produced several tonnes of the drug and that the network was one of the major suppliers to domestic drug makers. Drugs produced supplied Germany, Poland, Austria, Scandinavia as well as the domestic market. Police described it as one of the most significant drug swoops in the last decade. The detained could face up to 12 years in prison if guilty.
Tuesday marks the final day in which Czech smokers will be able to light-up in pubs and restaurants. As of Wednesday new anti-smoking legislation signed into law early this year formally comes into effect, bringing the country in line with the rest of Europe. Adam Kulhánek is a doctor and addiction specialist at Charles University’s Faculty of Medicine, and also a member of the Coalition Against Tobacco NGO. I asked him what impact he expected the smoking ban to have:
Czech drugs control employees report a drop in the illegal production of pervitin or crystal methamphetamine in home labs following tighter control of medicines containing pseudoephedrine in neighboring Poland. After such medicines were taken off the list of over-the-counter drugs sold in the Czech Republic drug dealers relied heavily on Poland where they obtained 70 percent of the pseudoephedrine used in the illegal production of this home-made drug. Drug experts say tighter norms in Poland will now increase interest in these medicines where norms are still lax, such as Bulgaria or Turkey.
Police say they have charged 21 people in connection with a drugs scandal at a prison house near Pribram in south Bohemia. According to a police spokeswoman over 100 officers took part in a raid on the prison earlier this week, confiscating a vast amount of drugs, tablets and needles. The convicts reportedly bribed the guards to allow them mobiles and turn a blind eye to the fact that drugs were regularly smuggled into the prison in food and personal belongings.
Two Czech football internationals have become caught up in a police investigation into an alleged drug dealer, the Czech Radio station Radiožurnál reported on Tuesday. Former Viktoria Plzeň player Ondřej Vaněk is suspected of acquiring narcotics from Vítězslav Meišner, who has been charged with selling ecstasy and cocaine. Current Plzeň player Jan Kopic is suspected of loaning Meišner CZK 500,000. The two players are due to appear as witnesses when the case comes to court soon, Czech Radio said. The station has police evidence that appears to show Vaněk, who now plays in the Russian league, asking Meišner to find him some "pills". Kopic is said to have made the substantial loan to Meišner just a month after their first meeting.
Police have broken up an international gang that used Czechs to smuggle hashish between Denmark and Greenland. Two Czechs were caught red-handed in a police swoop in Greenland and found in possession of one kilogram of the drug. They have been deported back to the Czech Republic. Another five Czechs have been arrested in their homeland. Police carried out long term surveillance of the sophisticated smuggling operation that profited from the high price of the drug in Greenland. The ringleader was a US citizen living in Denmark but a Czech was highly placed in the logistics of the operation. Some drugs were also shipped to the Czech Republic for sale, mostly in the South Moravia region.
A Czech citizen wanted by police in the Czech Republic is facing deportation from New Zealand but only after serving a punishment for smuggling five kilogrammes of material used to produce the illegal drug ecstasy, the Czech News Agency reported, quoting the New Zealand Herald. Karel Šroubek is sought in connection with a murder in the Czech Republic in 2003. He says he fled to New Zealand, where he made us of the different name Jan Antolík, to escape from police pressure to provide false evidence over the murder. Šroubek will be deported once his five-year prison sentence on drugs charges, which was handed down last year, comes to an end.