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Blow in Record €5 billion cocaine seized at Dutch port of Rotterdam during 2021

The increase in seizures from 40,000 kilos in 2020 to 70,571 kilos highlights how drug gangs, including the Kinahan cartel, are expanding cocaine business in Europe.

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Cocaine seized on 30 December. Photo:  Public Prosecution Service Rotterdam

Cocaine seized on 30 December. Photo: Public Prosecution Service Rotterdam

Cocaine seized on 30 December. Photo: Public Prosecution Service Rotterdam

A RECORD €5 billion worth of cocaine has been seized in the port of Rotterdam during 2021, according to Dutch authorities.

The increase in seizures from 40,000 kilos in 2020 to 70,571 kilos highlights how drug gangs, including the Kinahan cartel, are expanding cocaine business in Europe.

The scale of smuggling has prompted a new law where an unauthorised person found in the port area can be jailed for up to two years.

According to official figures, 62 suspected smugglers were arrested and 194 criminal investigations launched last year.

There were also 400 occasions of people suspected of being in the area to retrieve drugs and they were detained by officials.

Despite some individuals being arrested multiple times, only relatively small fines were imposed. The new penalties against unauthorised entry came into force on 1 January.

Also seized were 1,000 kilograms of the psychedelic drug DMT and 1,500 kilos of heroin the largest ever seizure of the drug in the country.

A €300 million shipment of cocaine was seized on 30 December in a cargo of bananas from Ecuador and a number of arrests made when the empty container was sent onto to its planned destination.

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