Bulgaria Seizes Heroin Worth Nearly $8.5 Million In Truck Heading From Iran To Western Europe

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian customs officials say they have seized 403 kilograms (about 887 pounds) of heroin found in a truck with Turkish registration en route from Iran to Western Europe.

The heroin in 618 packages hidden inside the officially declared 156 sleeping mattresses transported in the truck. Officials valued the drug haul at 8.5 million euros (nearly $9 million).

The truck was confiscated at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint on the Turkish border, Haskovo regional prosecutor Ivan Stoyanov said on Saturday. The drugs were thought to have originated in Iran and destined for distribution in some of the 27 nations of the European Union, he said

The Turkish truck driver was detained and could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted on drug trafficking charges.

Bulgaria, which lies on a drug route from the Middle East to Western Europe, has taken massive steps in recent years to prevent drug trafficking.