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Antwerp mayor wants Belgian Drug Enforcement Administration

© Belga

Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever wants to create the Belgian equivalent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The City of Antwerp is facing a violent war between drug traffickers, but it can only tackle the symptoms, De Wever told De Zevende Dag and VTM Nieuws.

Gunfire took place in Deurne, Antwerp, one hour before the second night of the security operation “Night Watch” began.

Night Watch is what the Antwerp police are calling the largest security operation in the past 20 years against organised drugs crime, set up to combat drugs-related violence in the city.

“They are adapting, we will adapt too,” De Wever reacted on Flemish television.

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The mayor highlighted the efforts made in his city in the fight against drug trafficking. “The first year I was mayor, 4,700 kilos of cocaine were seized, last year it was 61,000 kilos,” he said.

The “stroomplan” set up under the previous legislature is judged positively by experts but has too little capacity. The judiciary must be able to prosecute and the legislation must therefore be adapted, he argued.

He hopes that the next government agreement will include the creation of a DEA based on the American model, as he had agreed with the president of the francophone socialist party, Paul Magnette.

De Wever and Magnette worked together as so-called pre-formateurs, tasked with sounding out the other parties on the possibility of a coalition, but to no avail. Flemish liberal leader Egbert Lachaert and Dutch-speaking socialist party leader Conner Rousseau are the latest pair to try and form a government.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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