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Cocaine kingpins rounded up by Europol

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2022-04-23- Cocaine kingpins rounded up by Europol

Belgian, Dutch and German police have arrested 17 suspected cocaine leaders in connection with a record catch in the ports of Hamburg and Antwerp, Europol reported Thursday.

Federal and regional police in a three-country operation raided more than 35 buildings and seized four homes, four cars, electronic systems, watches and cash worth 5,5 million euros ($5,9 million).

Large-scale cocaine and people smuggling network

11 suspects have been arrested in Germany, 5 in Belgium and 3 in the Netherlands, the authorities in The Hague reported in a statement. “This operation targeted the European and South American drug and money laundering infrastructure of a large-scale people smuggling network,” Europol said. The verdicts were linked to an investigation into the seizure of some 34 tons of money cocaine in February last year in Hamburg and Antwerp – a record billions of euros – Europol said.

During the investigation, the collaborating authorities discovered that this criminal group had the capacity to send multiple shipments of cocaine containing tons of coke to Europe in just a few months. Police were able to uncover the cocaine operation after they brought down the SKY ECC communications platform. This platform, which is used almost exclusively by organized crime groups to communicate via encrypted telephones, was hacked by the police last year.

In February, dozens of other suspects were arrested in connection with the same case in a primary operation coordinated by Europol in six European countries.

Read more bolnews.com (Source, EN)

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