Cocaine trafficking on Dutch coast a "big and crowing concern": mayors

107 kilos of cocaine found in a false ceiling in a container at the port of Rotterdam, 28 Jun 2017
107 kilos of cocaine found in a false ceiling in a container at the port of Rotterdam, 28 Jun 2017. (Photo: Public Prosecutor / OM)

Cocaine smuggling in various of the Netherlands' coastal areas is increasing considerably, according to the mayors of these areas. The problem is a "big and growing concern" and doesn't get enough priority, Rob van der Zwaag, mayor of Veere and chairman of the Association of Zeeland Municipalities, said to the Telegraaf.

The police, Koninklijke Marechaussee and customs officers in the area are stretched to their limits, according to Mayor Jan Lonink of Terneuzen. "Since the arrival of the National Police, attention for this area has been marginalized. Drug smugglers know exactly where our weaknesses are."

Van der Zwaag believes that the authorities only manage to intercept a small part of the cocaine trafficked into the country. "In the coastal areas fake companies are rapidly set up to facilitate drug trafficking. Once nested, it's hard to get rid of them. But also professional fishermen are being pressured by criminals."

Traffickers increasingly opt for smaller ports, because they assume that security - and the chance of being caught - is less than in Rotterdam. The Zeeland mayors call for investigative capacity to be increased in this area.

In the last week of June, the Dutch and Belgian police seized two , totaling in nearly 1,700 kilos of hard drugs. Dutch persons were involved in both s

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