The Prosecutor’s Office and the Antwerp federal police have smashed an international cocaine smuggling ring over the last few weeks. It was operating out of the Antwerp port. The police operation was in conjunction with the Dutch police and Spanish Guarda Civil. In Belgium, 6 people were arrested and one has since been released on parole. In the Netherlands and Spain, police caught 3 and 2 smugglers respectively. The group was importing cocaine from South America, which it transferred to Antwerp in containers.
To stop the smuggling, raids in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain were organized on the 12th of November. During these raids, 11 people were arrested and numerous objects were seized. These included guns, works of art, luxury watches, diamonds, and cars, as well as 470,000 euros in cash. In Belgium, police also found a container containing 315 kilos of drugs.
The raids took place in the Antwerp region, but also in Laeken and Maldegem. 2 of the 5 people arrested abroad were brought to Belgium.