Schiphol workers in 15-strong gang arrested for smuggling cocaine

At least seven Schiphol airport workers have been arrested for smuggling cocaine into the Netherlands from central and South America, the public prosecution department said on Tuesday.

In total, 15 people have been arrested in connection with the smuggling ring. Nearly all them live in Amsterdam, they have Dutch, Turkish and Colombian nationality and are aged between 23 and 65, news agency ANP said.

The Schiphol workers were employed by the same company. They are alleged to have removed the cocaine which had been hidden in aircraft and shipped it onwards.

Bad apples

‘This has been a major hit,’ a spokesman for the Schiphol military police said. ‘Schiphol employs more than 60,000 people and sometimes there are a few rotten apples.’ More arrests have not been ruled out.

Last year, at least 20 people were arrested at Schiphol airport as part of a six-month investigation into a drug smuggling ring. A number of them worked in the baggage handling department.

And in July, three workers were arrested for stealing smartphones and other expensive items during passenger security checks.

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