Police arrest nine connected to cocaine trade in Rotterdam port
The police arrested nine suspects last Tuesday in a large-scale investigation into the import of cocaine into the port of Rotterdam. The nine men each had their own role in the drug trade and one of them worked for a company in the port.
The company did not know the port employee was working with the criminal group, according to the police. "What his exact role was is being investigated, just like the exact role that the other suspects played and which drug transports exactly took place,” the police said.
The drugs entered the port of Rotterdam via ships, after which the blocks or drugs in powder form were collected and traded, according to the police website. The money that the suspects earned from the drug trade was then laundered.
Police spent nearly a year on the investigation after receiving multiple reports about the trade. The police obtained some of the information in the investigation by cracking encrypted messages on telephones.
Thirteen homes and businesses were also searched in Rotterdam, Schiedam, Hoogvliet, Papendrecht and The Hague. Several cars, watches, dozens of telephones, a loaded firearm, cryptocurrencies, a drug press and a large amount of cash were seized.
The nine men are suspected of, among other things, importing cocaine, money laundering, corruption and illegal possession of firearms. Four suspects were brought before the examining magistrate on Friday. Three of them will remain in detention for two weeks longer.
The fourth, together with the other five suspects who have not been brought before the court, await the further course of the investigation outside detention. Police do not rule out more arrests.
Reporting by ANP