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Incinerators can’t keep up with Belgium’s ‘cocaine mountains’

More than 100 tonnes are expected to be seized this year, about €5 billion ($7.7 billion) worth of cocaine on the streets.


Dozens of tons of cocaine are waiting to be disposed of in customs warehouses. This is due to the increasing accumulation and for safety reasons he is limited to 1.5 tonnes that can be incinerated at one time.

The backlog widened further when customs officials found 7.9 tonnes of cocaine worth €200 million in a shipment of bananas from Ecuador.

To meet the backlog, local governments have increased incineration capacity, but it is still not enough.

The Antwerp Police have deployed additional officers to guard the customs warehouse where the cocaine is stored.

Mayor Bart De Wever has sent a letter to the appropriate authorities warning that the gang is using drones to track storage facilities throughout Antwerp. The Belgian government is plagued by the dangers of a growing drug trade in the country.

In September, police thwarted an apparent plot by a criminal mastermind to kidnap Van Quickenborn.

Three men armed with assault rifles, Molotov cocktails and “restraint harnesses” were arrested outside the Justice Minister’s home.

The kidnappers are believed to have planned to hold the senior politician as a ransom to free the imprisoned mafia figure.

Annual cocaine seizures in Belgium have increased from 5 tonnes a decade ago to 90 tonnes last year.

But officials fear that only 10% of the illegal drugs that end up on the streets are caught.

Meanwhile, the European drug trade has shifted dramatically from Spain to Northern Europe.

Antwerp’s historic trade ties with the likes of Panama, Ecuador and Paraguay make Antwerp’s port a major hub for cocaine imports to the continent.

Local authorities are struggling to keep up with the growing trend of drug cartels operating inside and outside the port.

About 30,000 shipping containers arriving in Antwerp are scanned by the authorities each year.

Only high-risk shipments representing 1% of all shipments arriving at the port are opened.

The Telegraph, London

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/incinerators-can-t-keep-up-with-mountain-of-cocaine-in-belgium-20221122-p5c093.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Incinerators can’t keep up with Belgium’s ‘cocaine mountains’

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