Police stage extensive drug raid in center

Some 30 suspected dealers were detained in the center of Prague

Police are cracking down on drug dealers in the city center. A large-scale planned raid took place Oct. 12 at 10 pm with 140 officers from the Prague division of the Alien Police, five customs officers and two trained dogs. They were divided into three groups that covered Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square and Můstek.

The raid codenamed Stmívání (Dimming) differed somewhat from the previous ones. In the past, dealers were able to warn each other using a system of signals, get rid of evidence and escape from the area. Police changed their tactics this time to cover more areas at a precise time, according to a police press release.

All three groups of policemen and customs officers arrived at pre-selected locations so that no one had the chance to flee the police. As a result, the police could check nearly 120 people, mostly foreigners from outside the EU.

Some 30 people were found to have marijuana and/or methamphetamine (pervitin), and were detained. Four of them are also suspected of manufacturing or supplying drugs, as they had larger amounts.

Police spokesman Tomáš Hulan said that what makes catching drug dealers difficult is that they split the work. The person who finds customers does not possess the drugs. The message gets to the person carrying drugs, who then leave them at a drop spot. The person who wants the drugs is them told where to go and find them.

The trained police dogs can find drugs and also find out if someone has come into contact with them in the past few hours. This would help police to find people who picked up drugs and passed them on, but did not currently have them in possession.

The people indicated by the dogs were searched, and in all cases, the dogs were proved correct.

This present raid was the largest one, but others have taken place throughout the year. Over the past nine months of the year, police have carried out a total of 64 police actions in the city center, focusing mainly on drug issues. Police have detained 83 people for suspicion of illicit manufacturing and possession of “narcotics, psychotropic substances and poisons.”

Police have also detected 499 people who committed related drug offenses. Officers imposed fines totaling almost Kč 3 million and 63 people were detained.

From June to September, police carried out 21 raids aimed at drug dealers and drug users in the center and detained 18 drug offenders and resolved 209 drug offenses. These raids also led to detaining 32 persons wanted on other charges.

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