A 36-year-old man from Steenbergen in the province of Noord-Brabant was arrested in Arnhem on Wednesday for suspected involvement in large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering, the police reported. He is reportedly linked to the seizure of 1,700 kilograms of ketamine with a street value of nearly 40 million euros during a large-scale operation in February.
Opnieuw aanhouding in onderzoek naar grootschalige drugshandel en witwassen
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Authorities had been tracking the suspect since May 30 after a failed arrest attempt. At the time of his arrest in Arnhem on Wednesday, he was found with a counterfeit passport.
The investigation began last year when police discovered a drug trafficking network using the Exclu Messenger app. Over five months, officers observed the exchange of messages and images among criminals. In a coordinated effort in February, Dutch, German, and Belgian authorities conducted 79 searches, resulting in the arrest of 42 individuals. The arrests almost certainly prevented assassinations from being carried out abroad, Dutch police stated. Eurojust and Europol were also involved in the operation, along with agencies in Italy, Sweden, and France.
During this large-scale operation, a secret storage site at a farm near Steenbergen with about 1,700 kilograms of ketamine valued at just below 40 million euros was discovered. The man arrested on Wednesday is believed to be linked to this secret storage site.
Eight suspects were previously arrested in this investigation, four of whom are still in custody. The investigation team is still looking for three other suspects. They are believed to be abroad.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/08/16/man-arrested-allegedly-linked-1700-kilogram-ketamine-drug-bust Man arrested allegedly linked to 1,700 kilogram ketamine drug bust