Bulgarian customs have seized more than 1 ton of cannabis at the Kalotina checkpoint near the country’s border with Serbia, officials said here on Monday.
The illicit drug was discovered around the midnight of Sunday/Monday after two identical trucks whose registration plates had a difference only in the last letter entered from Serbia, the National Customs Agency (NCA) and the country’s Prosecutor’s Office said in a joint statement.
One of the trucks was empty and the other was declared to be carrying linoleum from Serbia to Turkey, the statement said.
The customs officers ordered the truck with the cargo to pass X-ray examination but on the road between the initial control area and the X-ray inspection area, the drivers of the two trucks exchanged their registration plates and the empty truck appeared there, the statement said.
However, the authorities immediately detected the attempted fraud, detained the other truck, and found the drug packed in sacks and bags, it said.
The owner of the transport company, a Serbian citizen, who was driving the empty truck, was arrested on the scene, while the driver of the other truck, also a Serbian citizen, managed to escape, but he was identified and declared for search, the statement said.
Authorities estimated the value of the cannabis on the black market would exceed 3.45 million U.S. dollars.