International cocaine smuggling ring dismantled

20 January 2012
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Press Release/News

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In the framework of an investigation led by the Belgium Federal Judicial Police of Mons, between February 2011 and January 2012, several operations have taken place, with the support of Europol and Eurojust, and with the cooperation of law enforcement agencies in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

As a result, an organised crime group (OCG) has been dismantled, who were active mainly in Belgium, Italy and Spain but also had sound links to an organised criminal group based in Cali, Colombia. The operations have resulted in the seizure of significant quantities of cocaine, weapons and cash. Suspects from the Brakel area were involved in alcohol and beer transportation. Eight people are currently in prison in Belgium.

The investigation targeted international cocaine smuggling from South and Central America to Europe (Antwerp harbour), as well as other offences such as VAT, excise and duty fraud, illicit goods trafficking and labour law tax fraud. Mainly settled in Belgium and Spain, this OCG was rapidly growing through the creation of multiple import/export dummy companies.

The Federal Judicial Police of Mons is continuing with the investigation under the direction of Pierre Pilette, Investigating Judge, and Europol will also continue to support law enforcement authorities with this operation.