Monday 18 October 2021

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


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.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.