Corrupt customs officer jailed for 14 years for pivotal role in Rotterdam drugs route

Rotterdam docks. Photo: VDW via

A customs officer who was the linchpin in a scheme to smuggle industrial quantities of drugs through Rotterdam harbour has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Gangsters paid Gerrit G. 7.5% of the value of all the illegal narcotics he allowed to pass through the harbour unchecked. G. worked in the pre-arrival department, where containers are selected for screening. By taking his clients’ deliveries out of the system he guaranteed the consignments’ safe passage into Europe.

The district court in Rotterdam ruled G. was guilty of corruptly allowing large quantities of cocaine through the harbour, but it cleared him of facilitating cannabis trafficking.

The prosecution service had demanded a 16-year sentence for G., who is known to have earned at least €3.5 million from his corrupt connections. When he was arrested police found €1.1 million in cash in his flat and another €1 million in bank accounts.

Investigators described these amounts as the ‘tip of the iceberg’. ‘Gerrit G. lived the high life. He flew business class to Curacao several times a year and had his daughter educated privately,’ a prosecution spokesman said.

G. was arrested in April 2015 after police intercepted a shipment of 400 kilos of cocaine. Three other suspects in the case were sentenced to between three and 10 years in prison.

G. was let out of prison while awaiting trial to care for his seriously ill wife, but after she died he was re-arrested when it emerged he had been touch with his underworld contacts, including a conversation about a murder.