Prosecutors on Tuesday alleged that a group of seven men were at least partly responsible for the importation of approximately 1,125 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside a shipment of frozen fish. The cocaine entered the Netherlands at the Port of Rotterdam and was then tracked to a worksite in Zaandam in July 2018.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb wants to station Dutch police- and customs officers in Colombia in the fight against drug trafficking. The port of Rotterdam is one of the main transit ports for Colombian cocaine. The Rotterdam mayor is therefore currently visiting the Colombian port city of Cartagena to see how he can improve cooperation with local authorities, NOS reports.
Authorities working at the Port of Rotterdam found dozens of kilograms of cocaine hidden among a banana shipment. In total, some 186 kilos of cocaine was found inside the sea container, prosecution service OM said in a statement.
The value of the Tuesday seizure was estimated at between four and six million euros, according to local broadcaster RTV Rijnmond.
The container originated in Colombia, and was first set for Antwerp, Belgium before it continued to Rotterdam, its final destination. “The drugs have since been destroyed,” the OM stated.
A 27-year-old man from Rotterdam was arrested in the investigation into a large batch of cocaine seized at the port of Rotterdam early in June. The police think that this batch of cocaine may also be linked to the disappearance of Mohamed Anaya, who disappeared from Rotterdam on June 14th.
The Rotterdam police are looking for the person who misplaced a backpack on Witte de Withstraat on Friday night. The backpack contained multiple phones and a "a large amount of cocaine". The police invite the owner to come pick up his bag. "Come and visit the Doelwater police station", the Rotterdam police said on Twitter.
A customs officer who was arrested in February for releasing a container with 1,500 kilograms of cocaine inside, is also suspected of helping criminals import a large batch of drugs in at least one other case, the Public Prosecutor said during a pro-forma hearing against Hassan O. on Wednesday, NOS reports.
The police and customs officers in the port of Rotterdam made two large cocaine busts over the weekend. They found a total of 1,250 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a shipment of produce and a shipment of fruit concentrate, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.
A 44-year-old port worker from Rozenburg was sentenced to six years in prison for involvement in large-scale cocaine smuggling. The court considered it proven that the man, who worked at a transhipment company at the port of Rotterdam, was involved in three shipments involving a total of 1,150 kilograms of cocaine, NOS reports.
The Koninklijke Marechaussee found 18 stowaways in the back of a truck at the Europoort in the port of Rotterdam on Saturday night. Seven of the stowaways were children between the ages of 1 and 15 years, the Marechassee said on Facebook.
The Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for border security, found the people hiding behind a double wall in the truck's cargo hold. According to the Marechaussee, it involves several families, believed to be from India.
The police and Koninklijke Marechaussee found 18 stowaways hidden in a "tiny, extremely hot space" between a load of tires in a small truck at Hoek van Holland on Sunday. Among the stowaways were five children between the ages of 5 and 14 and a pregnant woman. "Despite the miserable conditions in which they found themselves, all stowaways were in good health", the police said in a statement.
Customs officers seized over 800 kilograms of cocaine at the port of Rotterdam early in June, the Public Prosecutor announced on Sunday. A massive 720 kilos of the drug were discovered in a banana shipment on June 6th, and two smaller shipments totaling in 86 kilograms were discovered on June 4th.
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.