Drug traffickers run wild at Zeeland ports, officials warn

People fishing on the Wadden Sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Weefemwe)Fishing boat on the North Sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Weefemwe)

Due to a shortage of police personnel, drug traffickers have free reign along the Zeeland coast, according to Jaap Gelok, chairman of the port triangle in Zeeland and Mayor of Borsele.

Drug trafficking is quickly increasing along the Zeeland coast, Gelok said to BNR. Fishermen are being offered large sums of money to pick up packages at sea and smuggle them through the ports. He is calling on Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice to urgently increase offshore patrols in the area.

According to Gelok, the decrease in the number of patrols and checks along the Zeeland coast can partly be attributed to the water police being incorporated into the National Police. "The people were given a wider range of tasks, so that means that their attention on the water was reduced" he said to the broadcaster. According to him, on paper there are currently only six police officers working on this and he is receiving signals from fishermen who haven't been checked i some time.

Minister Ard van der Steur promised to put a full time prosecutor on this.