Rotterdam city officials, police and the justice department are concerned about the rise in cocaine seizures at Rotterdam port, particularly about the impact on society.
‘So much money is involved in smuggling cocaine that the amount of criminality is enormous,’ public prosecution department spokesman Jeichien de Graaff told the Telegraaf.
The size of the shipments which have been identified is increasing, the paper points out. The biggest so far this year totaled 4,000 kilos and this shows that criminal organisations are prepared to take massive risks, the paper said.
Officials are also worried cuts in the number of customs officials operating at the port and the issue has been raised in parliament. Nevertheless, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem insists the manpower reduction has been compensated for by greater use of IT and innovation.
So far this year, 12,000 kilos of cocaine have been intercepted, up from 8,000 kilos in 2015 as a whole. ‘More cocaine is being brought in but there is less capacity to catch smugglers. This is worrying,’ De Graaff said.
Corruption is also of particular concern. Over the past two years, three customs officials have been arrested for helping drugs smugglers operate and investigators think this is the tip of the iceberg, the paper said.
Gangland killings are also more often related to cocaine-related crime, the paper says. Police are increasingly confronted with import companies and drivers who say they have been threatened by drugs gangs.
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