The port of Rotterdam and Schiphol will be better secured and there will be more supervision of employees in order to prevent drug smuggling. The Cabinet has made EUR 7 million available to make the largest import ports in our country more resilient to criminals.
Most of the money is earmarked for the port of Rotterdam. Over 40,000 kilos of cocaine were intercepted over the past year. Also this year, large batches of drugs have been found, such as the biggest heroin capture ever.
Corona has less flown, but according to customs, drugs continue to flow through Schiphol, although this is significantly less than through the port.
Jon Brandjes, manager of Customs Netherlands, sees that the drug smuggling has not been concerned about fewer flights at Schiphol:
When collecting drugs, criminal organizations cant do without inside help. For example, the police recently warned that criminals are infiltrating shipping companies in order to empty containers. In criminal cases there are numerous examples of corrupt port personnel or bribed baggage workers.
There have also been several million robbers at Schiphol. At cargo companies last year, large loads of iPhones were stolen, again with help from the inside.
Make more aware
According to demissionary Minister Grapperhaus of Justice, the 7 million is primarily intended to make employees aware of crime and to ensure that they report suspicious cases more quickly.
“ They need to know if something crazy happens in their work environment. They have to understand that if someone approaches you in a certain way because you work at Schiphol, they often have wrong intentions behind it.”
Furthermore, the money will go towards better security in the fields, smart technology, tackling drug “exilers” and increased monitoring of personnel and the use of access passes. Additional integral checks will also be carried out by customs, the Royal Marechaussee and other parties. In addition, the intention is for municipalities to take administrative measures in so-called risk countries and business areas that are vulnerable to drug smuggling.
For years there have been concerns about organised crime in the port of Rotterdam and attempts have been made to make the port safer. Last year a critical report on security was published at Schiphol Airport. It stated that there is not enough visibility of what is happening around the airport and that workers are vulnerable to crime. In the meantime, improvements have already been made and cooperation is being improved, several services at the airport say.
In addition to the extra money for the port and Schiphol Airport, a broader plan for the security of all Dutch sea and airports is under way. “We need to avoid a watercovering effect,” says Grapperhaus.
Recent research into the ports in Zeeland, Brabant and the North of the Netherlands shows that there are signs that criminals are active there too. But because the view of what is happening in ports is limited, there is nothing to say about the actual extent of crime. However, the smaller ports are also considered to be risk.