The two men, aged 24 and 25, who are now being charged for drug trafficking, called the police after not being able to get out, and fearing they would suffocate due to the extreme heat.
The Port of Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe, and the police required over two hours in order to locate the right container and liberate the men.
Guns drawn, the police discovered the two men in their underwear, appearing exhausted and dehydrated, due to the extreme heat, Sudinfo reported. The suspects immediately gave themselves up.
Screengrab from video of arrest
A social media video of the arrest shows port employees pouring water on the suspects to cool them as outside temperatures reached over 40 degrees, and substantially more inside the container.
The amount of cocaine seized is not yet known, although the quantity may be “several hundred kilos of cocaine”, according to Gazet van Antwerpen.
The Port of Antwerp has experienced a sharp rise in drug smuggling in recent years, due to its large size and strategic location in Western Europe. Since 2014, the amount of seized drugs has gone up a six fold, and last year alone, a total of over 50 tonnes of cocaine was seized by Belgian customs and police.