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.
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.
Five people were arrested in Almere on Tuesday morning a major police action against drug trafficking. Four of the five detainees are members of outlaw motorcycle gang No Surrender, a police spokesperson confirmed to NU.nl.
The arrested No Surrender members are aged 23, 29, 30 and 42 years and all from Almere. The fifth suspect is a 46-year-old man from Hilversum and is not a member of the motorcycle gang.
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.
Interpol intercepted over 25 million illegal and potentially dangerous medicines in an international operation involving 123 countries. In the Netherlands, customs officers seized 50 thousand illegal medicines, the Healthcare Inspectorate said in a press release, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch police still do too little to fight corruption within their own ranks, according to an investigation by the Ministry of Security and Justice's Scientific Research and Documentation Center, NOS reports.
Police officer screening is still not properly done, according to the researchers. "Ever fewer employees are subject to the heavier forms of screening", the report reads. The screening investigations are also less detailed than in the past and too few interim screenings are done.
Customs officers at the port of Rotterdam found over 150 kilograms of marijuana while checking a shipment of wall tiles destined for England on Wednesday, the Public Prosecutor announced on Friday.
The 155 packets of drugs, each about a kilogram, were hidden in iron boxes in between the tiles. The marijuana, which was wort about 1.5 million euros in the Netherlands, was destroyed.
According to the Public Prosecutor, the transport company responsible for the shipment had nothing to do with the drugs.
Customs officers intercepted 60 red flamingos at Schiphol airport. One was dead and three were in a bad state, ANP reports.
The flamingos were being transported from Cuba to China.
All of the birds were seized and taken to an animal hospital for care, a spokesperson for the Dutch food and consumer product authority NVWA said on Friday. The animals were injured in the poor transport conditions.
The inside of the cases weren't sealed properly, resulting in some of the flamingos getting their feet stuck in vent holes.
The Spanish police caught a Dutch hunter trying to sneak the head of a mouflon to the Netherlands in his suitcase from the Alicante airport on Sunday. The Dutch man was fined because he did not have a hunting permit, or permission to shoot the wild sheep, AD reports.
A cargo inspector at the port of Rotterdam was arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of involvement in the trafficking of nearly 200 kilograms of cocaine, the Public Prosecutor announced on Tuesday. The 42-year-old man from Rotterdam was connected to the discovery of cocaine in the shaft of one of the anchor chains of a Colombian coal carrier at the end of March.
The Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA and Customs arrested a Chinese couple on Easter Monday for trying to smuggle 72 kilograms of live eels through Schiphol to China, the NVWA announced. The European eels were found in 36 plastic bags that were filled with water and hidden in six regular suitcases.
According to the NVWA, the eels have a street value of around 115 thousand euros in China. An official report was filed against the Chinese couple and they will have to appear in court in July.
Packets of what is believed to be drugs were found washed up at various locations along the coast of Zeeland and around Eemshaven in Groningen on Sunday. Whether there is a connection between the packets is being investigated, ANP reports.
The police called on citizens to report any washed up packets to emergency line 112.
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.
A 44-year-old man from Almere was arrested by the Tax Authorities' investigative department FIOD after an amount of 2 million euros was discovered in an ambulance he wanted to ship to Suriname, Metro reports. He is suspected of money laundering.
Customs officers at Schiphol airport found 259 reptiles hidden in four suitcases at the airport. Ten of the animals were dead. Three Spanish suspects were arrested, the Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA announced.
Customs officers and inspectors from the Dutch food and product safety authority NVWA arrested a German man at Schiphol airport for trying to smuggle more than 40 exotic reptiles through the airport, the NVWA announced on Wednesday
Customs and police officers discovered 110 kilograms of cocaine while checking the cargo of an Iranian truck in Amsterdam's Westelijk Havengebied on July 28th, the investigative department for the Tax Authorities FIOD announced. Three men were arrested.
Customs officers at Schiphol Airport arrested a total of 645 drug traffickers on flights from the Antilles, Suriname and Venezuela last year. That is a 20 percent decrease compared to 2014, a spokesperson for Customs said to broadcaster NOS.
Customs officers in Rotterdam found some 4 thousand kilograms of cocaine hidden in a pineapple container on June 1st. According to the Public Prosecutor, this is one of the largest cocaine catches ever in the port of Rotterdam.
Two men were arrested after 100 kilograms of cocaine was intercepted at the port of Rotterdam. The drugs were hidden in two bags in a shipping container
Customs officers at the port of Rotterdam found 900 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a banana shipment from Ecuador last week. Three men were arrested, the Public Prosecutor announced on Tuesday.