Italian cops say gang sold disguised drugs

Jan. 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM
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ROME, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Police in Rome Monday broke up a gang operation that allegedly was selling drugs disguised as air fresheners, officials said.

The illicit air fresheners were being sold in shops and vending machines countrywide. Lab tests found "synthetic [cannabinoids] as well as newly synthesized substances, which have not yet been classified," the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The police operation, codenamed "Gold and Incense" made 19 arrests, and closed 12 shops and two vending machines. Overall the bust was worth 12 million euros ($15.25 million).

Police Vice Commander Antonio Concezio Amoroso told ANSA the operation "showed how police efforts have succeeded in swiftly achieving important results in a stop market that is continually finding new formulas and strategies to avoid detection."

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