Anti-drug operation leads to arrests across Flanders

Anti-drug operation leads to arrests across Flanders
Credit: Belga

Nine people have been placed under arrest by a Bruges investigating judge in relation to an international drug trafficking and money laundering investigation, the prosecutor’s office and the Federal Judicial Police of West Flanders announced on Thursday. Around €100,000 in cash was seized in connection to the investigation.

The Federal Judicial Police began its investigation based on information obtained from decrypted Sky ECC communications. Since the encrypted messages were cracked by police, police have made well over 1,000 arrests and seized over €4.5 billion in cash. Once again, the Sky ECC revelations gave police an insight into the gang’s suspected activities.

Numerous addresses in West and East Flanders, as well as Antwerp, were raided on Tuesday by police at the request of the judge in Bruges. Investigators seized €100,000 in cash, as well as a money-counting machine, a large number of cell phones, various luxury goods, and two loaded firearms.

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Police also seized five vehicles and discovered the remains of a cannabis plantation. Roughly €200,000 stored in the bank accounts of the suspects was also frozen.

The searches were conducted by around 70 officers from the West Flanders Federal Judicial Police, with the help of tactical police units, dog squads, and several local police forces. A total of 13 people were arrested and questioned, nine of whom were placed under arrest by the judge. The suspects will appear before the court on Friday. One suspect was released on bail.

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