(Belga) Seven people were arrested in Belgium on Monday after the seizure of 4.18 tonnes of cocaine last week in Rotterdam, the largest seizure of the year 2021 at this port in the south of the Netherlands, announced on Wednesday. Dutch prosecution.
The drug, with an estimated resale value of 300 million euros, was concealed in a container of bananas arrived from Ecuador and destined for Antwerp. “4,060 kilograms were found among (a shipment of) bananas, after careful analysis an additional 120 kilograms were found in the roof of the container,” prosecutors said. “This makes the largest last-minute seizure of 2021,” they added, with the discovery taking place on Thursday, December 30. The drugs were destroyed in the Netherlands before being transported to Belgium. Belgian authorities and a Dutch team then followed the container to a warehouse in Essen, just across the border. The Belgian federal judicial police raided there on Monday and arrested a total of seven suspects, five Belgians and two Britons. Six are currently in pre-trial detention. The rest of the investigation is in the hands of the Federal Judicial Police in Antwerp. Drug seizures have exploded this year in the port of Rotterdam, now considered one of the main gateways to Europe for drugs, especially cocaine. The North Sea coast has now “overtaken the Iberian Peninsula as the main entry point for cocaine into Europe,” Europol said in a September report. The EU anti-crime body has warned that the Netherlands and neighboring Belgium are emerging as major hubs for cocaine, especially consignments from Colombia. (Belga)