Dutch police arrest 20 cocaine smugglers

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Dutch police have detained 20 people for smuggling cocaine in containers for in-flight meals and waste on planes flying between the Dutch Antilles and the Netherlands, police said Thursday.

"Twenty suspects have been arrested over the last four months in the Netherlands and Bonaire," an island territory of the Netherlands Antilles, Schiphol airport spokesman Robert van Kapel told AFP.

The last two suspects were arrested on Tuesday.

Eleven of the 20 suspects worked for a Schiphol-based company catering for airlines.

Investigators found that the cocaine was hidden in food and waste containers on Netherlands-bound planes.

Police seized more than 50 kilogrammes (110 pounds) of cocaine, with a street value of two million euros (2.6 million dollars), and tens of thousands of euros in cash during 11 searches in the Netherlands.

Twelve of the suspects are Dutch nationals, aged 25 to 49, the spokesman said but did not give details.

© 2010 AFP

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