Bulgaria seizes 38 kg heroin in Albanian truck

SOFIA, Jan 29, 2000 -- (Reuters) Bulgarian customs said on Friday they had seized 38.1 kg (84 lbs) of heroin hidden in an Albanian-registered truck that was coming from Turkey.

Ivan Kutevski, spokesman for the Central Customs Directorate, told Reuters the shipment was discovered at the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint with Turkey and was hidden in the truck, which was transporting metal doors.

The truck driver, a 43-year-old Albanian citizen, had been detained, Kutevski added.

Crime experts said that the local street value of a dose of 0.250 grams of heroin was between three levs ($1.5) and 10 levs.

Bulgaria, situated between Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Yugoslavia and Romania, lies on the so-called Balkan route for smuggling drugs from Asia to Europe. Customs say a total of 261 kg of heroin were seized at Bulgarian borders last year.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria opened the first office under a joint United Nations - European Union project to fight drug trafficking in the Balkans.