Over 800 kilograms of cocaine intercepted at Rotterdam port

Containers in the port of Rotterdam
Containers in the port of RotterdamPhoto: designf21/DepositPhotos

Customs officers seized over 800 kilograms of cocaine at the port of Rotterdam early in June, the Public Prosecutor announced on Sunday. A massive 720 kilos of the drug were discovered in a banana shipment on June 6th, and two smaller shipments totaling in 86 kilograms were discovered on June 4th.

The authorities found over 600 packets of cocaine in a banana shipment from Ecuador on June 6th. The container arrived at the port on June 4th. The bananas were destined for a fruit company in Rotterdam, but the Prosecutor does not believe the company had anything to do with the drug trafficking. The cocaine has since been destroyed.

On June 4th customs officers discovered two batches of cocaine, one weighing 20 kilograms and the other 66 kilograms. The drugs were hidden in the cooling engines of containers. Where these containers came from, the Prosecutor did not say. These drugs were also destroyed. 

Drug trafficking is a massive, and difficult to tackle, problem at the port of Rotterdam. It is an impossible task to stop even a small part of the drugs trafficked at the port, researchers at Erasmus University recently concluded after an extensive study. Only a very small number of the 7.5 million containers that annually pass through Rotterdam are checked. About 40 thousand containers go through a scan, and only 6,500 are actually opened during a check. 

The Rotterdam port is therefore experimenting with a "smart container" equipped with all kinds of sensors which record everything that happens to the container. "Nothing can go unnoticed anymore When the doors are opened, an alarm is sent to our website and the camera turns on. So then we immediately see who is in the container", Erwin Rademaker of the Port Authority explained to NOS. 


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