Saturday 06 June 2020

Drug dealers ‘more active and creative’ during corona crisis: AD

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Coronavirus is not stopping international drug dealers, and some have been taking advantage of the medical emergency, a Dutch police chief has told the AD.

If anything, drug dealers are becoming more active and creative, Rotterdam police chief Fred Westerbeke told the paper.

Police continue to find cocaine at the port and recently seized a big haul concealed in a shipment of medical goods, Westerbeke said. Some 40 people have been arrested over the last few weeks who had been sleeping in containers in the port so they could remove drugs hidden in shipments by day.

‘We are arresting these people on a daily basis and you can be sure they are not there for nothing,’ Westerbeke said.

The demand for cocaine during the crisis has not gone down, Westerbeke said.

‘Use will have gone down but I don’t believe it has halved. (..) The price is not under pressure but the coronavirus measures are making distribution more difficult for dealers who used to simply cross the border by car. But they will find a way around it, for instance by opening up old smuggling routes or by other means. It’s not easy to second-guess drug dealers.’

Street dealers have changed their tactics as well, the police chief said. The fact that people are at home and looking out of their windows is deterring trading drugs on the street, he said.

However, dealers have been moving to places where more people congregate, such as supermarket and DIY store car parks, the police chief told the paper.

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