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“Eindelijk een nieuwe internationale politiecoördinatie om de cocaïnehandel tussen Zuid-Amerika en Europa te stoppen.”

Het dateert van bijna vijf maanden geleden, de maxi-inbeslagname van drugs die in de haven van Hamburg .
Werd gevonden meer dan 2500 kg cocaïne verborgen in een koelcontainer geladen met bananen uit Ecuador stopte in Hamburg met eindbestemming Helsingborg.

Beschouwd als een van de Maxi-inbeslagnames in de haven van Hamburg.

Hamburg – De politie heeft samen met douanebeambten in de haven van Hamburg een van de grootste drugsconfiscaties uitgevoerd die ooit in de haven hebben plaatsgevonden. Ze ontdekten meer dan 2,5 ton cocaïne verborgen in een gekoelde container die aan boord kwam van een schip uit Ecuador met als eindbestemming Helsingborg.

lees ook

De politie zei dat de container aan boord van het CSS-containerschip was aangekomen.
Na te zijn gelost voor overslag in Vlissingen en Rotterdam,
de koelcontainer met bananen en drugs is aangekomen in Hamburg.
Het zou in Helsingborg worden overgeladen, maar de politie hield het in Hamburg tegen.
De autoriteiten zeiden dat deze ontdekking het bewijs was dat de illegale drugshandel doorgaat ondanks alle beperkingen en controles.

Op basis van de informatie waarover de onderzoekers beschikken en dankzij de internationale coördinatie van de politie, kondigden zij aan dat het mogelijk is om deze grote ladingen drugs te onderscheppen die, illegaal, het risico lopen op Europees grondgebied te worden geplaatst, waardoor de drugshandel en de enorme last van misdaden toenemen ermee verbonden.
“een nieuwe stap voorwaarts waarmee we hopen de Europese doorvoer van verdovende middelen, in de eerste plaats cocaïne, eindelijk en definitief te stoppen”, aldus de woordvoerder van de Europese taskforce.


Enough – Now it is time for European Governments to stop this game of illicit cocaine trafficking after years.

Criminal networks misappropriating containers reference codes to smuggle hundreds of tonnes of drugs and illegal goods into the EU from Ecuador


After Europol has launched a joint analysis report with the Security Steering Committee of the ports of Antwerp, Vlissingen, Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam and Helsingborg that looks into the risk and challenges for law enforcement posed by criminal networks in EU ports. 

The EU’s critical infrastructure – notably highways, railways and ports – enable the EU way of life, where free movement of goods and people is a foundational and major factor for economic growth, personal freedom and prosperity.

Criminal networks however, driven by the constant desire of growing profits and expansion of their illegal activities, are increasingly working toward the infiltration of and control over major logistical points. EU ports are examples of such major hubs, which is why the Security Steering Committee of the ports of Antwerp, Vlissingen, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Helsingborg together with Europol, agreed to draft a joint analysis report assessing the threat of infiltration of port infrastructure by organised crime in the EU.

Main findings:

The use of misappropriated container reference codes (or so-called PIN code fraud) is gaining traction among criminal networks as a modus operandi for extracting illicit goods from ports. 
Criminal networks arrange the infiltration of ports by coordinating local networks of corrupted port insiders.
As a side effect of the criminal operations in ports and the rivalry it entails, violence often spills out of major transportation hubs onto the streets of surrounding cities, where competition for distribution takes place.

Main recommendations:
International information exchange on the criminal networks’ activities in ports with Europol and amongst EU Member States should be further enhanced.
Continuous attention must be paid to the integration of security features in the design of port infrastructure.
Implementing public-partnerships to involve all port actors essential for tackling the infiltration of criminal networks in EU ports.

Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Home Affairs said:
The Europol report on criminal networks in ports illustrates what we are up against. It lays bare the sophistication of criminal drug gangs, their strength, and their savagery. The drug traffickers promote corrupt actions and practices sometimes by bribery, sometimes by intimidation. We are working with authorities at all levels to strengthen systems in the fight against the criminal activity this report outlines.

Europol’s Executive Director Catherine De Bolle said:
Criminal networks work closely to evade security at land borders and at air and maritime ports. They have one thing in mind – profit. An effective response is closer collaboration between the public and private sector; this will make both sides stronger. This report, the first ever created in cooperation with the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg/Bremerhaven, is part of building this common front. This information exchange has led to deeper knowledge, which is the most effective weapon against organised crime.

Vulnerabilities of EU ports
Maritime ports in the EU handle some 90 million containers each year, but authorities are able to inspect only between 2% and 10% of them. Meanwhile, it is estimated that in the last few years, at least 200 tonnes of cocaine have been trafficked trough the ports of Antwerp, Vlissingen and Rotterdam alone.

This logistical hurdle represents a challenge for law enforcement and an opportunity for criminal networks needing to access logistical hubs to facilitate their criminal activities. Such criminal networks have therefore infiltrated ports in all continents. 

Europe’s three biggest ports, namely those in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg, are among the most-targeted by criminal infiltration. The main way criminals do this is through the corruption of shipping companies’ personnel, port workers, importers, transport companies, and representatives of national authorities among other actors, whose actions are necessary to secure the entry of illegal shipments.

However, this approach requires corruption of a large number of accomplices. 

In order to focus their efforts and minimise the risks of losing merchandise, organised criminals are seeking new modus operandi that require the corruption of far fewer individuals. Europol’s analysis report on criminal networks in EU ports looks into one specific technique, which exploits misappropriated container reference codes. This requires the corruption of just one individual, along with either the corruption or a Trojan horse style infiltration of extraction teams, who are then paid between 7 and 15% of the value of the illegal shipment.  

On 25 aprile 2023 for example in the Port of Hamburg, Customs officials made one of the port’s largest drug busts. They discovered more than 2,5 tons of cocaine hidden in a refrigerate container arriving aboard a ship from Ecuador with final destination Helsingborg.