Germany announces record drug seizure

(MENAFN) German law enforcement officials have revealed a record-breaking drug bust, confiscating EUR2.6 billion (USD2.8 billion) worth of cocaine and arresting seven individuals allegedly involved in the smuggling operation. Prosecutors in Dusseldorf reported on Monday that 35.5 metric tons of cocaine were intercepted from container ships in Hamburg, Rotterdam, and Colombia. The largest seizure took place in Hamburg, where 25 tons of the drug were discovered hidden among shipments of fruit and vegetables.

The massive drug haul, which occurred last year, remained unreported until now. German Police acted on a tip-off from Colombian authorities. The seven arrested suspects include nationals from Ukraine, Germany, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Morocco, and Turkey, and were apprehended over the past few weeks.

Prosecutors stated that the suspects organized the transport of 10 sea containers filled with large quantities of cocaine from Latin America to Europe between April and September 2023, with the help of unidentified accomplices residing in Turkey. The smuggling operation utilized front companies to disguise the shipments as legitimate, with one individual in North Rhine-Westphalia establishing 100 "letterbox" companies for this purpose.

The suspects, aged 30 to 54, were detained in seven different German states and have not been named. North Rhine-Westphalia Justice Minister Benjamin Limbach declared, "This is a blow to international organized criminality. It’s a precise punch in the jaw that hurts the drug lords."



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