Cocaine seizures double in first six months of this year: minister

Cocaine seized in Rotterdam. Photo: Public Prosecution Department
Cocaine seized in Rotterdam. Photo: Public Prosecution Department

Customs officers and police have discovered almost twice as much cocaine in the first six months of this year as in 2015 as a whole, junior finance minister Eric Wiebes told MPs during questions on Tuesday.

‘2016 is a good year for cocaine, in the right sense of the word,’ the minister is quoted as saying by the Volkskrant.

He was responding to questions from VVD parliamentarian Foort van Oosten who had said he is concerned that Rotterdam port is being flooded with cocaine now there are plans to reduce the number of customs officers stationed there.

Wiebes said there is no question of the customs team in Rotterdam being halved, but said officers will be used in a more targeted way. For example, there is more 24-hour camera surveillance and more use of computer analysis, he said. ‘Smugglers innovate and the customs department is innovating as well,’ Wiebes said.

The hunt for cocaine remains of major importance, as is the hunt for guns, weapons and nuclear material, the minister said.

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