Arrests in Belgium after record drugs haul
6 September 2005, AMSTERDAM — Police have carried out arrests in Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands after containers with cocaine worth EUR 220 million were stopped before they reached Antwerp.
6 September 2005
AMSTERDAM — Police have carried out arrests in Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands after containers with cocaine worth EUR 220 million were stopped before they reached Antwerp.
The shipment consisted of two massive spools of steel cables which were being transported from Venezuela via Rotterdam and Antwerp to Iraq.
The 4,600 kilos of drugs were hidden in special compartments built into the 4-metre high and 2-metre wide spools. This is the largest amount of cocaine ever seized in the Netherlands.
A special team of police officers and customs investigators used sniffer dogs to locate the drugs at Rotterdam port on 3 August. The authorities had received a tip-off about the shipment.
The operation was only revealed on 5 September after investigators had arrested 13 people in the Netherlands suspected of involvement in the case.
The Public Prosecutor's Office in Rotterdam said further arrests can not be ruled out.
A Colombian man, 45, fell to his death from a block of flats in Amsterdam as he tried to escape from one of the arrest teams at the weekend.
Dutch police are now holding 11 men and two women, aged 15 to 50. They are from the Netherlands, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Greece and the US. Further arrests have been carried out in Belgium and Spain.
Investigators say the consignment of steel cables was allowed to travel on to Antwerp after the drugs were secretly removed by the police.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Belgian news + Dutch news