Netherlands near top of list for potential cocaine trafficking: Europol
Europe is becoming a hub in the global cocaine trade, according to an analysis by the European police cooperation organization Europol. More cocaine is being shipped from South America to Europe than ever before, and the substance is transported further from there.
Record quantities of seized drugs point to an increase in trafficking. According to preliminary data, at least 240 tons of cocaine were seized last year. In comparison, about 214 tons of cocaine were seized in 2020.
Ports in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain top the list, according to Europol. But the port of Hamburg, in the north of Germany, is also increasingly used by criminal gangs. Last year the record amount of 19.1 tons was seized there.
It is difficult to say how much cocaine reaches Europe. "We assume that 2,000 tons of cocaine are produced annually in Colombia alone," said a Europol spokesman. "And more than 60 percent of that is shipped to Europe."
Only a fraction of the drugs are consumed in the EU, according to Europol. Most of the cocaine is shipped from the EU to Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia.
Reporting by ANP