Lithuanian Law-Enforcers Arrest Smugglers Linked to International Terrorists

Lithuanian law-enforcers have arrested criminals linked to international terrorist organizations. They are charged with smuggling, collaboration with terrorists and money laundering.

Mecys Laurinkus, in charge of Lithuania's State Security Department, did not elaborate which terrorist organizations the criminal grouping was linked to, referring to alleged world wide practice not to name a country where such organizations are based.

On Wednesday, however, the local Respublica newspaper reported, with reference to its own sources, that the criminals had smuggled major batches of goods to Ireland.

Investigation into the grouping's activities was launched back in 2001, said the Department. In 2002, arrested were 10 haulage trucks loaded with 100 mln cigarettes worth close on 3.4 mln US dollars. Apart from that, law-enforcers seized 140,000 pounds sterling while carrying out investigation.

The leaders of that group of smugglers, one of who was a former Vilnius policeman, Vilius Karalius, have been arrested by now. Police had been aware of his unlawful activities, but lacked evidence for arresting him. Recently, however, a court has easily sanctioned Karalius' arrest.