Two Cypriot men were yesterday remanded for eight days in police custody on suspicion of attempting to traffic 112kg of mephedrone into Cyprus through Larnaca Airport.
The Larnaca District Court heard that the Drug Squad (YKAN) received a tip-off on Friday that a large quantity of a synthetic narcotic was to be smuggled on to the island from Dubai.
The following day a container on a flight from Dubai via India arrived at Larnaca. It was inspected and found to contain four plastic barrels containing a white powder that was later confirmed to be mephedrone.
Investigations revealed that the registered recipient of the cargo was a 50-year-old man while the transportation was being handled by a delivery company based in Potamia, Limassol.
A 34-year-old employee of the company showed up at the Larnaca Airport Customs warehouse on Tuesday asking to pick up the container and was immediately placed under arrest. After obtaining a search warrant police raided his home and seized several pieces of documentation relating to the shipment. The 50-year-old was arrested on the same day but a search of his home did not uncover anything incriminating.
Speaking before the court, the case investigator described the incident as the largest single seizure of synthetic narcotics in Cyprus.
He said that based on the information obtained so far, the suspects are part of an international drug trafficking organisation, while the mephedrone was scheduled to be shipped to Britain after its arrival in Cyprus.
“Interpol has been informed about the case and the investigation will be concentrating on a third country in an attempt to identify where the narcotics were manufactured.”
He added that a request for a court injunction had been put through to examine the suspects’ phone records after a large number of mobile phones were seized from their homes.
Mephedrone, commonly known as Meow Meow and M-Cat, is one of hundreds of designer drugs or legal highs that have been reported in recent years, including artificial chemicals such as synthetic cannabis and semi-synthetic substances such as methylhexanamine.