“Trojan Shield”: 81 arrests and 67 house searches in Austria

In Austria, 67 house searches were carried out and 81 people arrested, reported Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (VP) and Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Green) at a press conference in Vienna on Wednesday. In addition, the local investigators found 707 kilos of addictive substances, 35 weapons and 650,000 euros in cash.

The focus was on the federal states of Vienna, Lower Austria and Salzburg. It will take months before the experts have worked out all the data, stressed Nehammer. 13 suspects have been in custody since yesterday, reported Nina Bussek, spokeswoman for the Vienna Public Prosecutor’s Office. Preliminary custody has also been requested for these people. It can be assumed that more suspects will be admitted to the Josefstadt prison in the course of today, according to the spokeswoman for the authorities. The main culprits are accused of international drug trafficking, according to Bussek. “It’s about cocaine, heroin and marijuana in very large quantities.”

400 investigators on “Action Day”

The blow against the criminals went under the name “Operation Achilles” in Austria. Observations and telephone surveillance as well as international data comparisons were carried out. During an “Action Day”, 400 investigators and members of special forces were deployed across Austria. Franz Ruf, Director General for Public Security, referred in particular to the arrest of a suspect wanted in Serbia for triple murders. When he was arrested, ten kilos of heroin were seized. “He’s one of the leaders of the Syndicates.” In addition, the kidnapping of a person in Serbia and serious mistreatment were clarified. A “runner”, a subordinate gang member who owed the organization, was taken to a cellar in Vienna, where he was tortured with a hammer and seriously injured.

Statement FBI Legal Attach Theodore Callimanis

Straenverkaufswert in Millionenhhe

Ruf broken down the quantities of drugs seized: 30 kilos of cocaine, 26 kilos of heroin, 60 kilos of diluent, 261 kilos of cannabis resin and 390 kilos of marijuana. “The street sales value would be in the millions,” said the general manager.

Europol and the FBI were in charge of Operation Trojan Shield. The perpetrators are said to have been active in more than 100 countries. For more than 18 months, international investigators had wiretapped the gangs’ phone calls and other communication channels. More than 27 million messages were filtered. “Data from 12,000 crypto cell phones from over 300 criminal organizations were decrypted,” reported Ruf. Like all those attending the press conference, Zadic emphasized the excellent cooperation between all authorities – nationally and internationally.

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