Over 60,000 kg of cocaine seized by Antwerp police in 2019
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    Over 60,000 kg of cocaine seized by Antwerp police in 2019

    The Antwerp federal judicial police seized 22.6% more cocaine in 2019 than in the previous year. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

    The federal judicial police in Antwerp seized exactly 62,102 kilograms of cocaine last year, the police confirmed in a statement rounding up their activities in 2019.

    This figure marks a sharp increase from 2018, during which year Antwerp’s Federal Judicial Police (FJP) seized 50,644 kilograms of cocaine- meaning that in 2019 the amount of cocaine seized by police increased by 22.6%.

    Exactly 142 new investigations into drug-related crimes were opened in 2019. This compares to 120 new cases that were opened in 2018 and 104 in 2017.

    In addition, the FJP seized just over €40 million worth of cash and goods, including but not limited to, 36 properties with an accumulated value of close to €10 million, over €5 million in cash and 41 vehicles with a total value of €966,438.

    The Human Trafficking and Social Fraud section opened up 111 new investigations, largely concerning companies which resort to large-scale undeclared work, evade social security contributions or receive benefits when they shouldn’t.

    2019 was the year in which, “for the first time, people from North to South, from the bottom to the top of the hierarchy, not only recognised the added value of FJP Antwerp but also promises to do something about it,” said the director, Stanny De Vlieger, in a statement, referring to the unsustainable workload placed on staff and the need for increased numbers.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times