On today's press conference that took place in Hungary the representatives of Police in Slovenia and Hungary, together with the representatives of Financial Administraton of the Republic of Slovenia, presented the results of the largest seizure of heroin on the territory of Slovenia since the gained independence.


In October 2019, at the Port of Koper, based on the risk analysis, the officers of the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter FURS) assessed the shipment of 437 rolls of polyethylene foil (in total weight of 21,530 kg), which arrived in a container, as high risk. The alleged route of the container: United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Egypt – Slovenia. The container was transloaded on a ship in Egypt, which then arrived to the Port of Koper.

On 29. 10. 2019, the FURS officers scanned the container with an x-ray device. Upon analysis of the x-ray photograph, suspicion was raised that there are possible irregularities, so additional documentary inspection of the shipment was ordered. According to obtained additional documents, it was established that the shipment actually arrived from Iran and that the recipient is a company from Hungary.

A physical inspection of goods was ordered, where they brought in a handler with his service dog for detection of illicit drugs. The service dog indicated the possibility of the presence of illicit drugs inside the container. Detailed physical inspection showed that the weight of some of the rolls of the polyethylene deviate from the rest. Upon check of one of those rolls, it was established that packages of unknown substance are located inside it. The preliminary drug test showed a presence of illicit drug heroin. The FURS officers stopped all further activities and informed the competent Police Directorate Koper, who took over and led all further activities.


Criminal investigation in Slovenia

On 30. 10. 2019, the Koper criminal inspectors took over the proceedings and conducted detailed inspection of the crime scene in cooperation with the FURS officers. Upon crime scene investigation of the ship container, they established there are 437 reels of plastic foil in it and that weight of 42 of them deviate from the rest. Upon detailed inspection, the criminal investigators established that there are 1421 packages of illicit drug heroin hidden inside those reels. The total weight of the packages of the illicit drug heroin was 729,986 kg.

With review of documentation of the contentious ship container, gathering of information and other activities of the Police and FURS, it was established that the organized criminal group from Hungary was organizing the transportation of the ship container from Iran, via United Arab Emirates or Dubai to the Port of Koper, where it arrived by ship in the end of October 2019. The shipment was intended for Hungarian company from Budapest.

Based on the findings that the perpetrators of criminal offence of trafficking in illicit drugs are from Hungary, the information on the intercepted cargo of heroin was sent to the Hungarian LEAs, with a request to identify the actual recipient of the illicit drug. We received a feedback from them that they are already conducting an investigation against known suspects, who were expecting the arrival of a larger amount of illicit drugs.

We made the decision to perform the so-called “controlled delivery” on the route Koper – Budapest, where the contentious ship container was headed. Based on the proper permissions of the Koper District State Prosecutor’s Office, the entire amount of illicit drug was seized and 134 packages of illicit drug heroin (69,646 kg of weight heroin), hidden inside the plastic foil reels, was placed inside the ship container, which was then sealed.

In the following days, based on the approved undercover investigative measures, it was established that the ship container was collected by a Hungarian haulier, which took it to Hungary via Slovenia. From the moment it left the Port of Koper until it crossed the border with Hungary, the contentious container was under constant surveillance of Slovenian criminal police units. After that, the Hungarian LEAs took over the surveillance.

This case is about the largest seizure of heroin on the territory of Slovenia since the gained independence

The analysis of the seized heroin at the National Forensic Laboratory showed that the seized heroin mixture contained approximately 70% of heroin. The average purity for street sale is approximately 12 %. This means that they would obtain up to 6 kilograms of heroin by diluting 1 kg of seized high-quality heroin. The current price for a kilogram of heroin on Slovenian illegal market is between 15,000.00 and 20,000.00 EUR and a gram of heroin on the street costs between 20.00 and 40.00 EUR.

Based on the stated heroin prices on the Slovenian illegal market, we estimate that, with the wholesale, the perpetrators would gain between 10 and 15 million EUR and, in case of a street sale, between 65 and 87 million EUR of proceeds of unlawful conduct.

In Slovenia, the penalty for Unlawful Manufacture and Trade of Narcotic Drugs is prison sentence from 1 to 10 years and in case the criminal offence is committed within a criminal group, the penalty is from 5 to 15 years.

Controlled delivery in UN Convention against transnational organized crime

“Controlled delivery” shall mean the technique of allowing illicit or suspect consignments to pass out of, through or into the territory of one or more States, with the knowledge and under the supervision of their competent authorities, with a view to the investigation of an offence and the identification of persons involved in the commission of the offence; (The Act Ratifying the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime was published in: Official gazette RS, no. 41/04.)

Statistical data for Slovenia

The total amount of seized heroin in 2018 was 345 kg, the amount of seized heroin this year is 751 kg (the a/m case is included).
In 2018, we dealt with 1390 criminal offences and 4458 minor offences related to illicit drugs. This year, until 11. 11. 2019, we dealt with 1053 criminal offences and 3292 minor offences.


Largest heroin seizure of the last 20 years also for Hungarian police authorities 

Police officers seized one of the largest amounts (69.1 kg) of heroin shipment in Budapest. Within the framework of international cooperation, Slovene authorities already seized 661 kg out of the amount of 730 kilograms. The black market worth of the high purity drug shipment exceeds 17.5 billion HUF.

The Drug Crime Division of the National Bureau of Investigation of the Rapid Response and Special Police Services (KR NNI) conducts an investigation against 47-years old male suspect from Budapest for the reasonable suspicion of having trafficked narcotic drugs of a substantial quantity. The investigating authority received information in the first half of 2019 that he plans to smuggle a significant quantity of narcotic drugs into the country.

Simultaneously with the Hungarian proceeding, on 30 October 2019 the Slovene customs authority discovered, at the port of Koper, 730 kilograms of heroin concealed in film rolls while carrying out the customs clearance of a container heading from Iran to Hungary. The Slovene partner authority submitted – by way of the Europol – the information to the KR NNI that established that the heroin shipment discovered in the port is connected to 47-years old male suspect.

The operation was supported by the Chief Prosecution Office of Budapest, and in cooperation with the Slovene Prosecution Office in Koper they immediately contacted Eurojust, being the judicial cooperation agency of the European Union. As a result of the cooperation of the Slovene and Hungarian national sections of this European agency, a European Investigation Order was issued out of turn and the Slovene organization was requested to carry out the controlled delivery. The Slovene partner organization seized 661 kilograms of narcotic drugs from the container but in the interest of apprehending the perpetrator, let the remaining quantity pass freely by informing the Hungarian detectives thereof.

The shipment arrived in a Hungarian establishment on 5 November where 47-years old male suspect from Budapest unloaded the film rolls and placed them in a warehouse leased by him. Colleagues of the KR NNI requested the tactical unit of the Counter Terrorism Centre to apprehend him, which took place at 21:00. The Intervention Support Unit of the Rapid Response and Special Police Services also took part in the operation.

Detectives searched his apartment where they recovered and seized a small quantity of tablets suspected of being narcotic drugs and 7 million HUF and 69.450 EUR in cash. Police officers also searched premises leased by 47-years old male suspect at the establishment where they seized 69.1 kg substance suspected of being a narcotic drug hidden in 4 out of the 42 prepared film rolls disguised as packaging material. The Slovene authority seized 661 kg heroin hidden in the remaining 38 rolls on 30 October.

A forensic chemist of the Hungarian Institute for Forensic Sciences was appointed to provide an expert opinion. Based on preliminary findings, the substance seized in Hungary is undiluted heroin. Besides the active ingredient of heroin amounting to 65%, the powder examined only contains accompanying components stemming from the production. The drug seized would have reached the black market in a 2.5x dilution, therefore its value amounts to 1.6 billion HUF at least and 4.1 billion HUF at most. According to findings of the investigation, the target country of the whole heroin shipment was Hungary.

Detectives of the Drug Crime Division of the KR NNI interrogated 47-years old male suspect as suspect, took him into criminal custody and initiated his pre-trial detention that was subsequently ordered by the court on 8 November 2019 at the initiative of the Chief Prosecution Office of Budapest.


Videos available at Hungarian police website