Three individuals were arrested on Tuesday in the Netherlands as a result of an international joint action supported by Europol and Eurojust, and led by Dutch law enforcement authorities. Thirty-nine house searches were carried out in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Spain and the UK also cooperated in the investigation.
Moreover, a speedboat, cash, firearms, drugs, chemicals and equipment used to produce drugs were seized alongside numerous administrative documents used by the criminals.
This operation concludes a vast investigation which was initiated last year by Dutch authorities and supported by Europol and Eurojust. Its aim was to trace and recover the assets (e.g. bank accounts, property, cars, motorcycles, boats, jewellery and artworks) of a criminal who owed huge outstanding fines to Dutch authorities.
In 2004 the individual was convicted of leading an organised crime group specialised in producing and trafficking synthetic drugs. He was fined EUR 10.5 million based on the benefits obtained from the illegal activities he had been convicted for, and fined another EUR 3 million by the Dutch tax authorities.
Europol provided assistance to the leading authorities throughout the entire investigation and supported the action by deploying several mobile offices in the countries where the house searches took place. Eurojust held one coordination meeting, enabled links between public prosecutors in the concerned countries to be strengthened, and coordinated the issuance of letters of request.
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