Record cocaine haul in Antwerp port
28 October 2005, BRUSSELS — Antwerp police have arrested five suspects on suspicion of smuggling 2,820kg of cocaine via the city's port.
28 October 2005
BRUSSELS — Antwerp police have arrested five suspects on suspicion of smuggling 2,820kg of cocaine via the city's port.
The drugs shipments had an estimated street value of EUR 140 million and together are one of the biggest drugs seizures ever recorded in Belgium, custom official Lieven Muylaert said.
Police claim they have busted a criminal international drugs gang with the arrests, newspaper 'Het Laatste Nieuws' reported on Friday.
Investigations started on 15 September after Antwerp customs officials found 420kg of cocaine in a shipping container with paper goods.
The container was shipped from Venezuela via the Netherlands to Antwerp. The end destination was a Luxembourg-based company.
Further investigations revealed that the gang was allegedly waiting for a second shipment and Antwerp customs officials swung into action on 18 October.
Some 2,400kg of cocaine was found hidden between vinyl floor tiles, also shipped from Venezuela. This time, the end destination was a Dutch firm.
Subsequent house raids saw police arrest six people. Five of whom have been remanded in custody.
They have partially between identified as two Venezuelans, B. C. A., 45, and J. A., 35; two Belgian nationals A. G. H., 29 and B. G., 34, and a Belgium-resident Dutch national, M. C., 43.
Investigations continue and further arrests have not been ruled out.
Belgian customs officials have seized 6 tonnes of cocaine this year, more than 25 percent than last year.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian + Dutch news