Dutch justice minister calls drug crime ‘narcoterrorism’

An intercepted drug haul. Photo: Douane.nl

The Dutch justice minister has called the state of serious crime “narcoterrorism” at a meeting with Latin American and Caribbean counterparts in Brussels.

Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, who expects shortly to sign a treaty with Colombia to counter shipments of drugs to European ports, said the threat of drug criminality is so severe it is a kind of terrorism.

“The danger of serious, ruthless organised crime is such a threat to our rule of law that it is comparable to terrorism,” Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, who is also leading the VVD election campaign, said at the meeting.

“This is narcoterrorism, which consciously sows fear with explosives in neighbourhoods where people live or through for instance filming and spreading images directly after the murderous attack on Peter R de Vries. This is a battle against criminal powers that threaten our free society and European values.”

Last year, the Dutch justice minister signed a treaty with six European countries to fight drug shipments, hunt down money laundering and improve port security in a co-ordinated way. The meeting in Brussels took place with politicians from Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, countries where cocaine is produced before being smuggled to Europe.

Harbour authorities in Rotterdam, Antwerp and Spain have recently made huge finds of cocaine from Ecuador, said the justice ministry in a press release.

According to the ministry, a bilateral agreement is expected to be signed shortly with Colombia. A cooperation accord was also signed in Brussels between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to improve cross-border communication between police forces.

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