Rotterdam port drug checks failing: report

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Several companies active in the port of Rotterdam say that drug checks at the port are failing, AD reports. According to them, customs officers let containers pass into the port without checking them because there are problems with the electronic reporting system for incoming containers.

An emergency system is currently in place to deal with these problems. This means that logistics companies now have to report by email. Some companies told the newspaper that they are often let through after only a minute or two, while there is no way that the content of a container can be checked in that time. 

According to the newspaper, custom officers especially let containers with fruit and vegetables through quickly, because there is a risk of spoilage. But drug trafficers often use such containers to hide drugs. Hundreds of kilos of drugs are regularly found hidden among boxes of bananas or other tropical fruit. 

A source from within customs told AD that he fears that drug criminals are aware of the problems they're having. "They will try to profit from this. Additional deployment of colleagues is impossible, because there are none."

A customs spokesperson confirmed the problems with the report systembut denied the accusations that containers are let in unchecked, according to the newspaper.