Europol takes down large cocaine network, seizes 8 tonnes of cocaine

A major drug import network has been dismantled in Europe, according to Europol. Around 40 arrests were made and eight tonnes of cocaine seized in the operation, which also took place in Belgium.

The major three-year operation involved law enforcement agencies from a dozen countries, including Belgium. It was a "major hit" against the network, the European police office said. The operation enabled the cartel to be dismantled. Those responsible were based in Turkey and Dubai.

According to Europol, the latest phase of the operation began with the discovery of 700 kilograms of cocaine by the Spanish Guardia Civil in a ship off the coast of the Canary Islands. By analysing communications and exchanging information with other police forces, investigators were able to establish a link with previous seizures.

8 tonnes of cocaine

Forty people were arrested in six countries, including two Croatian leaders of the network who were arrested in Istanbul at the end of 2023. The last four arrests were made in Spain on Wednesday, according to Europol.

The network sent drugs from South America by boat to "logistics hubs in West Africa and the Canary Islands", then to distribution centres in "Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy and Spain", Europol said.

A total of 8 tonnes of cocaine was seized in Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. Millions of euros were seized in Brazil and Serbia.



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