Customs seized just 258 kilos of cannabis in 2016. It seized 6 tonnes in 2012 and 9 tonnes in 2015, La Dernière Heure reported on Saturday. The number of checks has dropped compared to previous years. This is due to customs officers being involved in the fight against terrorism, says Kristian Vanderwaeren, the customs and excise administrator.
“Before the attacks, we did not have a visible role in the fight against terrorism”, said Mr Vanderwaeren. “Since the attacks, a large part of my administration has been geared towards fighting terrorism, at the government’s request. We deployed 150 people a day to survey ports, airports and roads on the 22nd of March and the days just after. We provide people to survey the Midi station, Antwerp port and airports. Around 50 customs officers are on surveillance duty every day”.
The police are doing the same. As a result, the number of checks and drugs seizures have decreased. “We have fewer people on the road and not many checks. There are even fewer people to check luggage for cannabis at airports, as they have been moved to terrorism”, explains Kristian Vanderwaeren.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)