Rotterdam, like Antwerp, is the gateway for cocaine to enter the European drug market, as Amsterdam and Brussels are the informal capitals of transnational organized crime, and the Netherlands, like Belgium, is the next narco-state in the heart of the Old Continent. .
The cocaine of European society, from which the latter is becoming increasingly interdependent, has a major impact on the international trafficking of this type of drug, rewriting the “geography of crime”.
In conditions where once safe areas like the Costa del Sol in Barcelona have become today the epicenter of rival gang wars, and other areas like Marseille have experienced phenomena similar to those of the Third World, the Dutch port cities of Rotterdam and Antwerp are turned into the gateway to cocaine in Europe.
The most devastating consequences of Europe’s cocaine use are affecting the Belgian-Dutch area in particular. Against the backdrop of mafia infiltration into the geostrategic ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, narco-euros are circulating in their economies, “polluting” and corrupting them at critical levels, so much so that now the streets of Amsterdam and Brussels are clashing with each other with firearms the new hegemons of transnational organized crime: the narco-bandits of the Balkans and the Sahara.
Rotterdam as Medellin in Colombia
Recent reports on new drug trafficking routes by EUROPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Prevention use no diplomatic words: Hamburg, Antwerp and Rotterdam are the “epicenters” of cocaine trafficking linked to both Atlantic shores.
And exactly in Rotterdam – the port with the largest influx in Europe; followed by Antwerp and Hamburg, one of the largest cocaine seizures in Dutch history took place on the evening of September 16-17.
The Dutch authorities stopped a container coming from Suriname, and its final destination was Poland, inside which were hidden a little more than 4 tons of cocaine, with a market value of about 300 million euros.
The significance of this event can only be understood by referring to the magnitude of the amount of drugs seized against traffickers. A similar quantity had not been seized since 2005, when a shipment of 4.6 tonnes of cocaine was seized. Here are the figures and facts of cocaine in the Netherlands:
– 48 tons of cocaine seized in Dutch ports and airports during 2020 alone
– 34 tonnes of cocaine seized in 2019, or about ¼ less than the amount seized next year
-One of the largest cocaine refining laboratories ever discovered in Europe, as well as the largest ever discovered in the Netherlands, was discovered and destroyed in Nijeven in July last year. The operation led to the arrest of 17 people, the discovery of tens of thousands of liters of substances used for drug processing, and the seizure of 1 quintal of basic cocaine. The laboratory was capable of processing 150-200 kilograms of cocaine per day.
-The cooperation between the employees of the port of Rotterdam and the drug cartels is very worrying. As confirmed by Peter Tops of the Dutch Police Academy, 28 out of 30 employees of a company recently resigned after the start of controls over the quality of their work was announced.
– The Dutch rank in the top 10 nations in cocaine trafficking. This ranking stems from the number of arrests made in the European Union between 2018-2020. The Dutch are in eighth place – with 51 prisoners – and are the only Europeans (in the union) in this ranking. The others are Albanians, who stand out with 266 arrested, overtaken by traffickers of national origin from Latin America and Africa.
Investigations by national and supranational police agree on one point: the Netherlands and Belgium are the two gateways to cocaine for the European drug market. The drugs originate from Latin America, especially from Brazil and Colombia, and its trafficking is being carried out less and less by traditional criminal organizations – such as the Italians Ndrangheta and Camorra – and is increasingly controlled by growing criminal groups, which are thirsty for money, and who easily shoot guns.
Albanian and Moroccan drug cartels are less subject to judicial pressure than their Italian rivals. If in Belgium the drug market is virtually monopolized by traffickers from Tirana – believed to be the de facto controllers of the port of Antwerp – in the Netherlands the scene is dominated by Turkish-Moroccan organized crime soldiers and godparents, who the media and investigators commonly refer to them as the “Mocro Mafia”.
A very brutal organized crime, the violence of which shocked the Dutch public and investigators, as it closely resembles that of the Cosa Nostra in Italy in the 1980s: attacks, clashes and killings of journalists and lawmakers, as in the case of the lawyer Derk Viersum, killed on September 18, 2019
It may not be a coincidence at all that the seizure of a very large amount of cocaine in the port of Rotterdam happened right now. Authorities and the government had to send a strong message to the public, still shocked by the assassination of Peter de Vries, the most famous investigative journalist in the country, who for years was on the black list of the head of the bosses of “Mocro Mafia ”, Ridouan Taghi.
Therefore, the police seizure of September 16 is very important, as it caused great damage to the illegal activity of “Mocro Mafia”. But the fight to eradicate this problem is not over.
Because just one seizure can not be enough to change the reality, to stop the killings or to break the strong unity between drug traffickers, port companies and the banking system, described in the latest investigative article entitled “Nederland, Drugsland”, which has prompted a growing number of analysts, 60 per cent of public opinion, and even the most important Dutch police union, to speak of the Netherlands as a narco-state in the heart of Europe. / Il Giornale – Bota.al/
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