Massive drug hauls at Schiphol Airport
Customs officers conduct stricter checks at Amsterdam’s airport as drug smugglers get creative.
Amsterdam – Customs officers at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport said Thursday they have intercepted massive amounts of drugs in recent months.
In a most recent case, they discovered 15 kilogrammes of heroin in carpets from Pakistan that had been hidden in the seams of the carpets.
In another find, a package whose waybill declared it to contain ceramics was actually filled with 1,300 kilogrammes of cannabis from Thailand.
No one was arrested after the finds.
The airport has set up a special task force to find drugs, called the CargoHarc team.
The team, which consists of Military Police detectives, border police and Tax Office inspectors, are closely monitoring the freight passing through Schiphol Airport.
The team is also responsible for thoroughly checking every individual passenger flying in from Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles, which used to be major sources of drugs smuggled into the Netherlands.
Under this stricter measure, a Surinamese man and a Dutch woman were caught trying to smuggle cocaine into the country by hiding the drugs in their rolls.
The couple were arrested after it was discovered that 3 kg of cocaine was found hidden in 33 rolls. The rolls which are normally filled with mashed cassave root, turned out to be generously filled with ground cocaine.
Airport personnel are increasingly finding drugs hidden in innovative places, such as clothes, beverages, food and audio equipment.
Earlier this week, the airport's drugs finding team reported they had discovered cocaine in a load of coconuts from the Dominican Republic.
Rubber balloons had been inserted into the coconuts, which had subsequently been injected with liquid cocaine.
The trafficking of heroin, cocaine or cannabis is illegal in the Netherlands. Possession of minimal quantities of the drugs for personal use is generally tolerated.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica