Europol breaks up cocaine "super cartel" - arrests in Dubai
Created: 11/28/2022, 6:05 p.m
In a concerted action, Europol claimed to have struck a blow against a cocaine "super cartel".
There were 49 arrests, tons of drugs were confiscated.
The Hague – A total of 49 suspects were arrested in coordinated raids in several European countries and in the United Arab Emirates (VAR), Europol announced in The Hague on Monday.
Six of them were said to be members of the cartel classified as "high-level targets".
They were arrested in Dubai.
These had joined together to form a "super cartel" that "controlled around a third of the cocaine trade in Europe".
Europol succeeds in striking against "super cartel"
According to Europol, there were also arrests in four European countries: 14 in the Netherlands, ten in Belgium, six in France and 13 in Spain.
More than 30 tons of cocaine were confiscated in the course of the investigation against the "super cartel".
Most of the cocaine was said to come from Latin America.
It was channeled to Europe through the Dutch port of Rotterdam and the Belgian port of Antwerp.
'High profile targets' arrested in Dubai
"The scale of cocaine importation into Europe under the control and command of the suspects was massive," Europol said.
Two of the six “high-ranking targets” had connections to the Netherlands, two to Spain and two to France.
Police authorities in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the VAR and the USA were involved in the operations in November 2022 and in the previous year.
The raids were directed against both a command center and the logistical infrastructure for drug trafficking in Europe.
In order to uncover the organized drug smuggling, the gang's encrypted communication had to be cracked.
In the past two years, a strategy has been developed to smash the entire network.
The arrests in the Emirates were also made possible by liaison officers.
According to Europol, more than 250 liaison officers from over 50 countries are currently affiliated with a permanent representation at Europol.
The coordinated crackdown would send a "strong message to criminals" seeking refuge from prosecution, according to Europol.
Cocaine trafficking in Europe: supply has never been higher
The cocaine trade in Europe is currently at an all-time high.
Cocaine is the most commonly used illicit drug in Europe.
The availability and purity of the supply of cocaine in Europe has never been higher.
This is reported by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
The drug is also more affordable for consumers than in the past.
Record amounts are confiscated every year.
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