Israel Denies Greek Media Report It is Aiding Yugoslav Drug Trade

Israel has angrily denied a Greek media report which says it is selling chemicals to the heroin industry in a province of former Yugoslavia.

The Israeli Embassy in the Greek capital termed “outrageous” a television report that Israel is supplying anhydride acid to help convert poppy juice to heroin at a secret manufacturing site in Skopje, Macedonia.

Israeli Ambassador David Sasson will reiterate Israel’s anger over the report in a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Mihalis Papakonstantinu, an embassy spokesman said.

The report came as Greece nervously watched developments in neighboring Yugoslavia. It is concerned at the prospect of being dragged into hostilities if tensions between Macedonia and Kosovo province erupt into a shooting war that could also involve Albania.

Greece is particularly angered by the desire of Macedonia to declare independence under that name, which Greece claims for its own northern province.

A report on the Greek television channel MEGA said intelligence authorities in an unnamed country singled out Israel as the chemical supplier for a plant processing hashish and heroin at a top secret military base named Marshall Tito, which is run by carefully screened troops.

The report said its drugs are sold to the Italian Mafia and the money used to buy weapons from Russia, Bulgaria and Turkey. It said Israel might be shipping the chemical through Syria to the Greek port of Volos and then overland to Skopje.

An Israeli Embassy statement said the television report alleging Israel was “cooperating with its enemy Syria to export to a third country a chemical it doesn’t produce would be a good joke if the matter were not so sad.”

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