Customs seized record-breaking 110 tonnes of cocaine at Port of Antwerp in 2022
During a press conference on Tuesday, Belgian customs announced that they seized nearly 110 tonnes of cocaine at the port of Antwerp last year. For the first time in history, Belgian customs found more than 100 tonnes of cocaine in Antwerp. The amount of seized cocaine has grown every year since 2013.
In total, Belgian and Dutch customs seized 160 tonnes of cocaine in 2022. According to Belgian Finance minister Vincent Van Peteghem and Dutch state secretary for Customs and Excise Aukje de Vries, the two countries reached that amount due to their close cooperation and exchange of information.
The ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp remain in the sights of international criminals, customs officials say. Both customs services will continue to cooperate strongly in the coming years, by exchanging strategic decisions, training and information gathered by artificial intelligence, and organising joint operational actions on the ground.
In 2023, Belgian customs will hire 108 new employees and purchase new scanning equipment. The Netherlands will focus on artificial intelligence, chemical detection, container tracking and the creation of technical barriers.
#FlandersNewsService | A customs employee in the harbor of Rotterdam. © BELGA PHOTO KRISTOF VAN ACCOM