The Seizure Of 23 Tons Of Cocaine Is The Largest Collection In European History

2021-02-25   |   by CusiGO

Hamburg customs reported on Wednesday that earlier this month they seized the largest cocaine collection in European History: 16 tons of drugs. At the same time, Antwerp police found another seven tons of cocaine, and Dutch prosecutors announced that investigations showed that the two batches of cocaine were destined for Rotterdam, where a suspect was arrested on Wednesday.

The goods intercepted by Customs at Hamburg and Antwerp ports came from Paraguay and Panama respectively. In the first case, 16 tons of drugs, which arrived at the German terminal in early February, were hidden in five containers. According to customs officials, it was the largest seizure of cocaine in Europe. Another 7.2 tons were found at Belgian ports on similar dates, with the same source indicating a total value of “billions of euros”. Dutch police were alerted to the seizure and confirmed on Wednesday the arrest of a 28 year old suspect in Rotterdam.

Hamburg, Antwerp and the port of Rotterdam are usually sea routes for South American drugs to enter Europe. This time, German customs officials suspected that a batch of filling cans on a ship arriving from Paraguay had blocked a hole in the wall. They were informed by the Dutch police that when they saw that the documents on board were incomplete and some of the cargo did not meet the legal transport requirements, they decided to further investigate. “There are authentic cans and other cans containing different products,” the researchers said, ordering the entire container to be unloaded. They checked all the packages and found 1700 of them were cocaine. It is estimated that the 16 tons of drugs found were worth between 1.5 billion and 3.5 billion euros on the street.

Paraguay is seen as a transit country for cocaine trafficking; gangs in neighbouring Brazil operate there. In the port of Antwerp, the drugs are hidden in a container containing wooden pieces leaving Panama. Dutch Customs suspected that the detainee was the head of an import company in Rotterdam who commissioned the shipment of 23 tons of cocaine seized in Hamburg and Antwerp.

In February, customs at the port of Rotterdam seized 1.3 tons of cocaine hidden in Brazilian coffee beans. According to the prosecutor’s office, it is worth more than 99 million euros and the coffee company has nothing to do with drug trafficking. In December, Rotterdam customs estimated that cocaine intercepted at Europe’s largest port “has increased from 4000 kg to nearly 40000 kg in the past three years.”. However, many drugs entered undetected, so a team of police, prosecutors and government experts was set up to jointly investigate crime and financial crimes.

On Wednesday, police confirmed the discovery of another ton and a half of heroin at the same port in Rotterdam, the largest heroin hiding place in the country’s history, disguised as Himalayan salt from Pakistan.