02:16 GMT01 November 2020
Listen Live
    Europe
    Get short URL
    2120
    Subscribe

    A series of 54 coordinated raids across four European countries this week resulted in 29 arrests and the seizure of 3.5 tonnes of cocaine, €2 million in cash and bank deposits and around 40 vehicles.

    Three police officers were among those arrested in coordinated drug raids in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Spain.

    The 54 busts across four countries this week netted a haul of 3.5 tonnes of cocaine - 2.8 tonnes of that in the Belgian port of Antwerp alone - €2 million (£1.8 million), most of it in cash, some 40 seized vehicles and 29 arrests.

    Belgian federal prosecutor Frédéric van Leeuw said the detainees from the "crime syndicate" linked to Colombia included three police officers, a retired gendarme, a doctor and a lawyer.

    “It’s very worrying to see how criminals can get involved in the highest spheres and try to make the legal world dirty with crime money,” he said.

    Of those 29, 16 have so far been charged with drugs trafficking, money laundering and membership in a criminal organisation.

    “The quantity we seized can seem gigantic, but it’s infinitely small compared to what really goes through,” the prosecutor cautioned. 

    The giant port, which sees thousands of shipping containers arrive every day, is one of Europe's most important entry points for narcotics smugglers. The city has recently seen a spate of gun and hand grenade attacks between rival gangs operating there.  

    “It’s not only cocaine that is imported,” Van Leeuw said. “Criminal organisations also lodge themselves in our country, bringing along their violent and ruthless methods. We have seen what this led to in South American countries.”

     

    Related:

    It's Raining Cocaine: Plane Overloaded With Drugs Crashes in Papua New Guinea
    Cocaine Found in Former Swedish PM's Apartment in Spectacular Raid – Reports
    Cocaine Cowboys: Venezuelan Military Shoots Down Drug-Laden US Plane
    Tags:
    Police Corruption, Colombia, Spain, Netherlands, UK, Drug Trafficking, Belgium, cocaine
    Community standardsDiscussion