Drug dealer gang modified vehicles to smuggle narcotics across Europe

16 July 2018
Press Release
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Drug Trafficking

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Since October 2016, the public prosecutor's office and the police in Wuppertal (Germany), with the support of Europol, conducted an investigation against an international organised crime group suspected of trafficking large quantities of cocaine and amphetamine and cultivating marijuana.

During the summer of 2017, the suspects trafficked to Wuppertal significant amounts of cocaine and amphetamine from several locations in the Netherlands (Rotterdam and Venlo, among others). Once in Germany, they stored the substances in apartments waiting to deliver it to other European countries, such as Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy, hidden into professionally modified compartments of rental cars.

This operation resulted in the arrest of two individuals in Denmark last May and identification of two additional suspects, alongside two in Sweden in the beginning of June and has culminated with the execution of six arrest warrants. More recently, three individuals were arrested in Wuppertal on 21 June on the occasion of which of a large contingent of 200 police officers from the German and Dutch authorities carried out 18 house searches. Six high-value cars, a motorcycle, EUR 110 000 in cash and two watches worth EUR 500 000 each were seized.

A marijuana plantation, with hundreds of plants, was also dismantled, and three shipments of drugs, containing 50 kg, 41 kg and 14 kg of amphetamine respectively, heading to Denmark and Sweden were confiscated. Investigators have calculated that this criminal group has distributed around 1.5 tonnes of cocaine and/or amphetamine throughout Europe over the past two years.

This case was actively supported by Europol from the start, which hosted and financed operational meetings and who facilitated the international information exchange through the cross-matching of intelligence report.

EMPACTIn 2010 the European Union set up a four-year Policy Cycle to ensure greater continuity in the fight against serious international and organised crime. In 2017 the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for the 2018 - 2021 period. It aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organised and serious international crime to the EU. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant. Drug Trafficking is one of the priorities for the Policy Cycle.