Today the figures of the cocaine intercepted in the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp were announced. These annual figures do not lie. More than 160 tons of coke was found in both ports. 110.000 kilos of white gold was intercepted in Antwerp, a new record.
The Hit And Run Cargo team fished about 36.789 kilos cocaine kilos from the containers in the port area of Rotterdam with a street value of 3,5 billion euros. A good catch, but much less than the 72.808 kilos caught in 2021.
Cocaine to Belgium
Based on these figures, it seems obvious that the coke trade will shift from Rotterdam to Antwerp. Probably because criminals can move around more easily in the Belgian port area due to limited investigative possibilities. A special HARC team works in Rotterdam, a partnership of customs, FIOD, seaport police and the Public Prosecution Service. Special diving teams examine the ships below the waterline.
However, the fact that less cocaine was intercepted does not mean that less has arrived in the port of Rotterdam. A lot of drugs still reach the street. In addition, they are becoming more and more inventive in hiding, smuggling and extracting the drugs.
When the white powder arrives at the ports, the work of the extractors can begin. People trying to get the drugs out of the containers in the port. Although the number of arrested ejectors in Rotterdam fell – 241 in 2022 compared to 400 in 2021 – recruiting young people for this job seems to be extremely easy. Many of these ejectors are 18-26 years old, but sometimes even younger. Many young people from problem areas are effortlessly drawn into the criminal circuit.
There has also been increasing drug violence in Antwerp in recent years. Such as shelled facades and other attacks. Many of these crimes are committed by Dutch citizens. Yesterday, drug violence hit a new low when a 11-year-old girl died in a shooting in Merksem, a district of the city of Antwerp.