65 tons found in Antwerp: Cocaine reaches Europe mainly via Belgium

65 tons found in Antwerp
Cocaine reaches Europe mainly through Belgium

Cocaine smuggling to Europe is flourishing, with most of the drugs flowing through the ports in Belgium. In Antwerp alone, the authorities seized cocaine worth 7.5 billion euros last year. The amount of finds has increased more than tenfold in recent years.

Last year, more cocaine was seized than ever before at the port of Antwerp. The authorities found a total of over 65 tons of the drug in 2020, according to the Belgian Ministry of Finance. Belgium remains the most important gateway for cocaine into the EU. According to the information, the amount of annual finds has multiplied in recent years. In 2013 the amount of cocaine found at the Antwerp port was 4.7 tons. It has increased every year since then. Antwerp is the second largest European container port after Rotterdam.

The Belgian Ministry of Finance estimates the street sales value of the cocaine seized in 2020 at 7.5 billion euros – with an average purchase price of 68.5 euros per gram and a purity of 60 percent. The drugs came from Central and South America, mainly from Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador.

In 2020, an international program for the control of containers in maritime transport led by the United Nations led to the seizure of a further 25 tonnes of cocaine destined for Belgium in the countries of origin. According to a report also presented on Tuesday, the UN experts intercepted 102 tonnes of cocaine on the way to Europe. 6.5 tons of it were intended for German ports.

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