Belgium ramps ups its capacity to incinerate seized cocaine

Belgium ramps ups its capacity to incinerate seized cocaine
Credit: Belga

The capacity of the Belgium's cocaine incinerators is being significantly increased, French news agency AFP reports. This could eliminate, by yearend, the current difficulty in keeping up with the demand for destroying the drug.

The news was confirmed by the Finance Department.

According to the Gazet van Antwerpen, so much cocaine is being seized at the port of Antwerp that the confiscated drugs have to be stored at Customs. That could give drug gangs ideas, prompting them, for example, to raid the customs warehouses, the daily noted on Saturday.

The approved incineration plants are not getting the seized cocaine processed, the newspaper reported.

Antwerp prosecutor Franky De Keyser raised the alarm with Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne a few weeks ago. Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever also knocked on Van Quickenborne’s door for the same reason.

The offices of Van Quickenborne and De Wever said a solution was being sought jointly.

The Public Waste Agency of Flanders, OVAM, said Saturday that there is sufficient capacity in the incinerators, and that the problems are logistical.

A solution to the issue could be reached in the short term and seems to be there now.

“There is a structural solution: the capacity to burn cocaine is being sensitively increased,” said Francis Adyns, spokesman for the Finance Department. For security reasons, the department could not give more details. The problem could be solved “by the end of the year,” Adyns said.

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