France : OCLAESP dismantles illicit Subutex traffic between Marseille and the Ukraine

A vast, transnational Subutex (a psychotropic substance prescribed in France to help addicts come off heroin) traffic involving an Ukrainian organized crime gang and crooks from Marseille has been dismantled. In total, nine suspects were arrested: five French nationals in Marseille and four Ukrainians in the Ukraine. The arrests come after a lengthy investigation which began in the Ukraine in 2018. The traffickers were initially accused of arms trafficking. It was later revealed that they were also selling Subutex tablets sourced in France. In one year, a total of 200,000 tablets were sent from France to the Ukraine by means of fake prescriptions. Interpol has reported that trafficking Subutex is 10 times more lucrative than trafficking heroin because Subutex is considered to be a medicine, not a drug, and sentences are, therefore, less strict.

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