Austria arrests 69 in crackdown on EU drug trafficking ring

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Austria said Thursday police arrested 69 people in Vienna in a crackdown on an international drug trafficking ring known as the Frankfurt mafia.

Macedonia's interior ministry said Wednesday that 29 suspects were arrested in various towns as part of simultaneous police swoops in Austria and Germany.

Several of those arrested owned apartments in Vienna and Frankfurt that were used for distribution of narcotics to lower level dealers, it said.

Police searched homes and restaurants owned by group members and found a large amount of money and drugs, the statement said, providing no further details.

Macedonia lies on the so-called Balkan route used by organised crime gangs to smuggle drugs, arms and people into western Europe.

© 2010 AFP

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