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International operation arrests 10 people after record drug busts

1.21460666 Authorities seized nearly 35 tons of cocaine in total

Fri, 22 Apr 2022 Source: GNA

Ten people were arrested in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands this week, in connection with major drug hauls in 2021, worth an estimated €910 million ($990 million).

The Belgian public prosecutor's office announced the arrests on Thursday. Five men in Belgium, aged between 27 and 38 years old, were arrested after six houses were raided on Wednesday.

Authorities also conducted 40 searches in Germany and the Netherlands, of properties linked to the same multinational drug smuggling operation.

The investigation is linked to several record drug busts in Europe last year, after police cracked encrypted communications the gang sent using Sky ECC messaging services.

In February 2021, 16 tons of cocaine was discovered in Hamburg, Germany. The same month, 7.7 tons of cocaine was seized in Antwerp, Belgium.

In April that year, another 10.9 tons of cocaine was discovered in the Belgian port city. Authorities seized nearly 35 tons of cocaine in total during the course of the investigation.

The Belgian public prosecutor's office said the collective drug seizures have an estimated street value of €910 million. The intercepted containers arrived to Antwerp from Panama.

Based on the decrypted messages and intercepted drug shipments, investigators believe the clients of the multinational drug smuggling operation are based in Dubai.

Source: GNA
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