The import of illegal ketamine to the Netherlands is skyrocketing. Last year Customs officers seized 800 kilograms of ketamine, compared to only 2.6 kilograms in 2016, NOS reports based on requested figures.
Police and officers from the Koninklijke Marechaussee converged on the DFDS ferry port in Vlaardingen on Tuesday morning to track down on undocumented migrants attempting the journey to the United Kingdom. A team of about thirty people were accompanied by police dogs to check any truck which caused the canines distress.
Sniffer dogs will be used to check each vehicle entering the ferry. If the dog signals that something is off, that vehicle will be thoroughly searched. Authorities were also using equipment to measure levels of carbon dioxide as a way of finding the migrants.
The Dutch investigative authorities like customs and the police do not work well together in combating drug trafficking in the port of Rotterdam, researchers at Erasmus University concluded after an extensive study commissioned by the Rotterdam municipality, police, customs and Public Prosecutor. Information is not always shared and the authorities mainly focus on so-called "retrievers" of the drugs, which means that the organizers of the drug shipments remain out of reach, the researchers said, NOS reports.
Rotterdam is launching an experiment with its 'smart' container on Friday. Container 42 departs from the port today, and it will record everything that happens to it for the next two years. This smart container will not only provide peace of mind for cargo, but can also play an important role in the fight against trafficking, according to the Rotterdam Port Authority, NOS reports.
The Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate plans to use "sniffer drones" to check ships' emissions as they approach the port of Rotterdam, to make sure they adhere to new environmental regulations, project leader Marco Buitelaar said to NU.nl.
More investigators and customs officers are needed to combat drug crime in the port of Rotterdam, according to Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. The Rotterdam mayor calls on the government to structurally tackle undermining crime, NOS reports.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is setting up five additional parking areas in preparation for a no-deal Brexit. These "buffer parking locations" have space for 700 trucks, for the event that carriers do not have their customs documents in order for maritime transport to the United Kingdom, NU.nl reports.
Three customs officer working in the port of Rotterdam were arrested on Monday on suspicion of money laundering.
The three men, aged 31, 34 and 37 from Rotterdam, Schiedam and The Hague, were arrested after three homes and a business premises were searched in January, NOS reports.
They fell under suspicion because they made striking cash withdrawals and deposits on their bank accounts. According to the Public Prosecutor, these amounts were not in proportion with their legal income as customs officers.
Dutch customs officers at the port of Rotterdam intercepted a container with 90 thousand bottles of vodka, which were likely intended for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his army command, newspaper AD reports. The container was found in a ship, hidden under the hull of an aircraft on Friday.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority and the national government are currently considering what to do with the no longer used lighthouse on the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam - the tallest lighthouse in the Netherlands. Dismantling and breaking it down is one of the options being examined. The Dutch Lighthouse Association is against this and thinks the lighthouse should get the status of a monument, NOS reports.
Hard work is being done at the Port of Rotterdam on the development of a self-sailing ship. The first serious test with autonomous sailing will happen within a year, Vincent Wegener of the company Captain AI said to broadcaster NOS.
With only six months to go until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, it is still unclear what negotiations between the EU and the Brits will yield. It is high time that Dutch businesses who deal with the UK start preparing for a hard Brexit - the UK leaving the EU without any trade agreements in place - the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA and employers' organization VNO-NCW warned, NOS reports.
A sailboat and a tugboat sank at the Botlek bridge near Hoogvliet in Rotterdam at around 7:45 a.m. on Friday. Two people who were on board the sailboat ended up in the water, but have since been rescued, according to the local safety office, AD reports.
The sailboat crew members were fished out of the water by a dinghy that happened to be sailing by. They were checked over by paramedics and did not have to go to the hospital.
The first 41 of 500 swans that were covered in oil after an oil spill in the port of Rotterdam three weeks ago, were released again on Saturday. After the oil leak, the swans spent weeks in a temporary shelter on Maeslantkering in Hoek van Holland, being cleaned and recuperating. More swans will be released in the coming weeks, RTL Nieuws reports
The Dutch Safety Board launched an investigation into an oil tanker colliding with a jetty at the port of Rotterdam on June 23rd. Some 200 tons of oil leaked into the water after the collision. The Safety Board will investigate both the cause of the collision, and the control of environmental damage after the oil spill, NU.nl reports.
Of the more than 200 tons of oil that leaked in the port of Rotterdam on Saturday, more than 150 tons have been cleaned up. The rest of the cleanup will take a few more days, RTL Nieuws reports.
The oil leaked after a tanker hit a jetty in the Derde Petroleum port on Saturday. A part of this port has now been released, though the rest is still closed down with an oil resistant screen to prevent the oil from spreading. The Geul port is also blocked.
The Rotterdam investigative authorities are going to use cameras for extra surveillance at the port of Rotterdam. They hope that this will help in the fight against cocaine- and human trafficking. "In this way the net around the cocaine traffickers will be pulled tighter again", Bert Wiersema, director of enforcement policy at customs, said NU.nl reports.
The first new cameras were installed on the Maasvlakte following a successful test on Sluisjesdijk. Almost 200 more will be added in the coming years.
Customs officers and container company employees at the port of Rotterdam are paid by criminals to help them traffic drugs into the Netherlands, NOS and RTV Rijnmond report based on conversations the police tapped and the broadcasters were allowed to hear.
The port workers sometimes receive millions of euros to cooperate with the criminals, according to the broadcasters. At least three customs officers were bribed in this way.
The contract to transit coal through the port of Rotterdam has been extended by 25 years, despite objections from a majority in the Rotterdam municipal council and a number of environmental organizations, NOS reports.
Rotterdam is the largest transit port for coal in Europe. Coal comes from outside Europe, and is then transported through the port to, for example, coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands and abroad. European mass transshipment company EMO carries out the coal transhipment in Rotterdam.
The port of Rotterdam is unprepared for the upcoming Brexit, and concerns are rising among port companies, Rotterdam entrepreneurs told the Financieele Dagblad.
The biggest problem is a lack of urgency, from the government and other involved authorities like Customs and food and consumer product safety authority ACM, Bas Janssen, director of Rotterdam business organization Deltalinqs, said to the newspaper. "But also from the entrepreneurs themselves. A lot is going to happen when the hard landing that is now expected happens."
In a massive action against the illegal trade in animals and plants, the Dutch government seized a huge amount of illegal products over the past months. Among the items seized were 14 thousand dead seahorses, three elephant legs, a polar bear skin, and 77 kilos of scales from the very endangered African ant eater, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality announced.
The Netherlands must take the lead in developing the hyperloop by making sure that the country gets the first test track for this high speed transport system, a number of Dutch companies wrote in a letter to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, which covers Transport, NU.nl reports.
The new Botlek bridge in the Rotterdam port area was hit with its 100th disruption on Friday morning. The bridge lifted at 6:00 a.m. and then refused to go back down. Ships could pass beneath it, but no cars could cross over it. At around 8:00 a.m. the bridge came back down, but then refused to lift again, NOS reports.
On Thursday the Botlek bridge was also closed due to a malfunction in the lock. The failure lasted 7.5 hours, causing long traffic jams.
Seven men were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the discovery of 2,500 kilograms of hemp in a container of charcoal at the port of Rotterdam in July, the Public Prosecutor announced on Thursday.
The hemp was hidden in a shipment of charcoal that arrived at the port from Nigeria on July 18th. Customs officers discovered the drugs with the help of a container scan and a sniffer dog, according to the Prosecutor. The hemp was removed from the container and destroyed, and the container was sent to its destination.