In Belgium, consultations took place last night about the foothold the Cocaine Mafia has in the port of Antwerp. Several ministers, the mayor of Antwerp, Customs, various police services and the Public Prosecutor attended the meeting. Antwerp is plagued by rising coke imports and increasing drug violence.
The cocaine smuggling via the port of Antwerp increases year after year. Peak was 2016, the year in which 30 tonnes of cocaine got seized, a record. In addition, Antwerp has been the scene of shootings and abductions during the last year, which are the result of a war between rival drug gangs.
According to Stanny de Vlieger, police director in Antwerp and initiator of the summit, capital-based crime groups are increasingly using intimidation, violence and corruption to take key positions in business, politics, law enforcement and justice. He therefore advocates for more detective capacity, stronger customs, more video surveillance and better screening of port staff working in key positions.
Frank The Tank
In April this year, the Belgians arrested a police officer who is suspected to be involved in the international cocaine transport. This officer is believed to be affiliated with Frank V., alias The Tank. Due to its good contacts in the port of Antwerp, the tank was rented by Dutch and Belgian drug traffickers. Frank The Tank has been arrested and is serving a prison sentence.
Harbor employee shot
Last month port employee Marsin Y. was shot. Y. is team leader at DP World’s container terminal at the Deurganck dock in the port of Antwerp. Marsin was also shot at the year before. Justice believes this was an attempted murder. Detectives believe that in the case of Marsin Y., it also counts as a warning to other harbor employees.