Utrecht man suspected of trafficking 23,000 kg of cocaine arrested in Abu Dhabi
The police in Abu Dhabi arrested a 40-year-old man from Utrecht on Friday as part of an international drug trafficking investigation called 26Demer. He is suspected of trafficking over 23,000 kilograms of cocaine worth more than 600 million euros, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) announced.
The authorities linked the Dutchman to two massive cocaine interceptions. German customs officers intercepted the first batch of 16,174 kilos of cocaine in Hamburg on 12 February 2021. The cocaine was hidden in three containers of building filler from Paraguay, which first arrived in the port of Rotterdam by ship before being sent on to Germany.
The second batch of 7,179 kilos of cocaine was seized at the port of Antwerp on 20 February 2021. This batch was imported via Dutch territorial waters, namely the Westerschelde, the OM said. A 36-year-old British man was arrested in Switzerland on Friday on suspicion of involvement in this shipment.
Both the Utrecht and the British man will be extradited to the Netherlands, the OM said.
Last month, police in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, and Spain raided various locations and arrested dozens of suspects in the 26Demer investigation. Three suspects were arrested in the Netherlands.