Drugs, weapons dealing drive 16% spike in trafficking crimes

800 kilos of cocaine found at the port of Rotterdam in a banana shipment from Ecuador, 16 Oct 2019
800 kilos of cocaine found at the port of Rotterdam in a banana shipment from Ecuador, 16 Oct 2019Photo: OM

The police registered a total of 21,302 trafficking related crimes in 2019, an increase of over 16 percent compared to the year before. The increase was mainly due to a spike in weapons trafficking and drug trafficking, according to an initial analysis of crime statistics released on Wednesday.

All the types of cases that fall under the trafficking category saw an increase last year. Drug trafficking increased by nearly 11 percent to 13,727 registered cases - the highest number since 2014. Customs officers at the port of Rotterdam intercepted a large number of shipments of cocaine last year, many of which were hidden in fruit or fruit pulp from Brazil. By early November, port authorities already surpassed the record amount of cocaine caught there in 2018.

Registered cases of weapons trafficking also saw a massive increase last year, up nearly 27 percent from 4,940 to 6,258 registered cases - the highest number of weapons dealing cases in at least seen seven years. 

The police registered 396 cases of possession and distribution of child pornography, an increase of nearly 22 percent compared to the 325 cases registered in 2018. This does not include the production of child pornography, which is registered under sex crimes.

The number of cases involving human trafficking, excluding sex trafficking, increased by 8 percent from 64 in 2018 to 69 last year. Dozens of undocumented migrants were found hiding in trucks and on ferries at various Dutch ports, including VlaardingenHoek van Holland, IJmuiden, and Rotterdam. 

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