Belgian police pick up ‘strikingly much’ Dutch people in Antwerp port

In the port of Antwerp this month, โ€œremarkable manyโ€ Dutch criminals were arrested, justice and police report in Belgium. In October, 25 so-called extractors were arrested for the time being. 22 of them were Dutch nationality, the Belgian Public Prosecutors Office and the national police write in a joint press release.

Outmen try to get smuggled drugs out of shipping containers. They are often caught breaking into the port area. โ€œExtractors are the lowest step of the ladder within the criminal organization, but they do play a crucial role in international drug smuggling,โ€ says the Belgian Prosecution.

The Dutch extractors can be sentenced in Belgium to a prison sentence of up to five years. They then have to serve their punishment in the Netherlands.

More clout

In the Netherlands, so far 325 arrests have been made for the withdrawal of drugs this year. 110 of these took place in the first two weeks of September. Throughout 2020, it was 281 arrests.

The State wants to be able to act more effectively against drug suthalers in the port of Rotterdam. Now, every extracter must be proven whether that โ€œcan be linked to smuggling a batch of drugs in such a way that he is guilty of violating the Opium Actโ€. If this fails, a fine can only be imposed for unauthorized presence on the offlimits.

The port of Antwerp is an important supply route of drugs for Dutch criminals, among others. Earlier this year, it became known that Belgian customs had intercepted 27.64 tons of cocaine in Antwerp in one and a half months. The party had a street value of almost 1.4 billion euros.

In February, a load of 7200 kilograms of cocaine was found in the port. The drugs had to be delivered to the Netherlands.