2019 is a record year for drugs seizures in Belgium, revealing a growth of 660% in five years in the case of cocaine, according to figures released on Wednesday by the general customs and excise authority and finance minister, Alexander De Croo.
Cocaine is the most seized drug in Belgium. In the port of Antwerp, 119 discoveries were recorded last year, a figure representing 61.8 tonnes of cocaine that is up by nearly a quarter in comparison to last year.
The three main sources for hard drugs remain the same: Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia. In addition, 1.878 kg of heroin, 504 kg of marijuana and 1.129 kg of other prohibited substances were seized at the port.
The customs service is currently working towards inspecting 100% of the containers arriving in Antwerp. Such a thorough examination is made possible thanks to e-nose risk assessments and artificial intelligence.