Dutch customs officials seized 29,702 kilograms of cocaine in the first half of this year, a third more than in the same period last year. The service said it was increasingly finding small parcels containing dozens of kilograms of drugs.Criminals may be trying to spread risk, government Said on wednesday.
Authorities said Vlissingen port was becoming a hotspot for cocaine trafficking. Customs officials have found 4,500 kilograms of drugs in the port of Zeeland in the first six months of the year, which is already more than the entirety of 2022. Customs officials also arrested 31 “recoverers”, mostly young men and boys, tasked with smuggling drugs. Containers – compared to about 20 in 2022.
“That’s a good number for a port this small,” said Chris Mels of Customs. NOS. “Compared to Rotterdam and Antwerp, we see Vlissingen becoming more popular. Criminals are trying to land drugs via other ports such as Vlissingen.” Four of his ships are landed at Vlissingen. Customs officers find narcotics hidden in containers and on board ships. In some cases, it may be dumped into the water offshore.
Treasury Secretary of State Okuje de Vries stressed the importance of combating drug trafficking and undermining crime. “The criminals who smuggle cocaine into our country are ruthless. They employ minors, pressure entrepreneurs, and endanger our countryside because of pharmaceutical companies. We have to get tough on smuggling,” she said.
In addition to customs, the police are also doing more to combat drug trafficking. This month Vlissingen, Borsele, Terneuzen and Murdijk followed the example of the port of Rottedam and set up their own port police. The team is made up of his 25 police officers, detectives and analysts, and his goal is to eventually double that number. Police hope the specialized team will help prevent drug trafficking from moving from the big ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp to smaller ports.
South American authorities have also seized cocaine before it was shipped to the Netherlands, but in fewer cases than last year. In the first half of 2023, South American authorities seized more than 16,000 kilos of cocaine destined for the Netherlands. In 2022 as a whole, it will be 104,000 kilograms.
“We have been resolute in working with other countries,” said Secretary of State de Vries. “Customs is communicating more frequently with countries where large amounts of cocaine are being smuggled. This effort appears to be paying off.”
https://nltimes.nl/2023/07/12/sharp-increase-cocaine-interceptions-shipments-getting-smaller Cocaine interceptions surge.less shipments