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1.7 tonnes of cocaine seized in Antwerp

Credit: Belga

Around 1.7 tonnes of cocaine were found by the Federal Judicial Police in a warehouse in Aartselaar (in the province of Antwerp), the Antwerp public prosecutor’s office announced.

The cocaine was found as part of an ongoing investigation into containers that were unlawfully removed from various quays in the port of Antwerp, the prosecutor’s office said, noting “fraud with PIN codes that were meant to pick up the containers.”

In their investigation, police discovered a transport company and lorry driver who reportedly took the containers to various warehouses in the province of Antwerp, where the drugs where removed after which the containers were placed back on the quay.

“The cocaine was then collected by vehicles equipped with built-in safes to hide the drugs,” the prosecutor’s office said.

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Police raided a warehouse on Monday, at which point they found the cocaine and arrested five people, and a sixth person was arrested on Wednesday.

According to the public prosecutor’s office, dock workers, logistics staff and security agents were all involved in the smuggling activities.

The system of stealing containers and placing them back in the port area was unprecedented, the prosecutor’s office said.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times