Record €12.8 million in cash found in raids linked to Colombian cocaine

Cash seized in a Colombian cocaine investigation
Nearly 13 million euros in cash was found in five homes tied to an investigation into an international cocaine ring. Photo released Oct. 1, 2019Photo: Politie

Amsterdam police investigating an international cocaine ring found 12.8 million euros in cash. Police said the wrapped bundles of paper money was a "record amount", seized over two weeks ago during a search of five homes on September 12.

Seven people were arrested at four of the homes, including two Colombian women and a Colombian man, two Albanian men, a man from Morocco, and another from New Zealand. 

One of those taken into custody, a 52-year-old woman from Colombia, played a "leading role" in obtaining large quantities of cocaine for distribution, police said in a statement. "The police tracked the group after receiving information that Colombians were engaged in the import and trade of cocaine from Colombia to the Netherlands."

Multiple shipments of the drug from the South American country was found in Rotterdam this past week.

Roughly 1,500 kilograms of cocaine from the South American country, valued at up to 90 million euros, was caught at the Rotterdam Port in a shipment of bananas on Sunday. Last week, another 186 kilos was found in a separate banana shipment. That discovery was worth up to six million euros.

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb visited Cartagena, Colombia to build a better working relationship between authorities in the two cities. In an interview published earlier on Tuesday, he said he thinks the Netherlands needs to spend a half-billion euros in the fight against Colombian drug traffickers.

The mayor also thinks Dutch authorities should be stationed in Colombia to work side-by-side with their counterparts in that country.