Europol announces the dismantling of a cocaine "super-cartel" in Dubai and Europe

Police have dismantled a “super-cartel” of drugs that controlled about a third of cocaine trafficking in Europe and arrested 49 suspects in various countries including six of importance in Dubai, announced Monday Europol.

This vast international operation led to the seizure of 30 tons of cocaine, with arrests in France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, added in a statement the European Police Office, whose headquarters is in the Netherlands. Down.

The cocaine came mainly from Latin America and passed through the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp.

“The drug lords, considered high interest targets by Europol, had come together to form what was known as a ‘super-cartel’ which controlled around a third of the cocaine trade in Europe”according to Europol.

“The scale of cocaine importation into Europe under the control and command of the suspects was massive. And more than 30 tons of drugs were seized by the police during the investigations,” specifies the European agency based in The Hague.

According to Europol, Dubai has arrested two suspects of “great interest” linked to France, two others linked to the Netherlands and two linked to Spain.

Secure phones

In addition to the six arrests in Dubai, thirteen people were arrested in Spain, six in France and ten in Belgium. At the same time, fourteen people were arrested in 2021 in the Netherlands as part of the same operation, according to Europol.

All these arrests come after Operation “Sky ECC”, the dismantling in early 2021 of an encrypted communication network, used by criminal organizations with an application and secure phones marketed by a Canadian company, Sky Global. A thousand arrests had already taken place in the process, including that of a Colombian baron.

The Dutch public prosecutor’s office has indicated that it intends to ask the United Arab Emirates for the extradition of the two Dutch-linked suspects arrested in Dubai.

One is a 37-year-old man with dual Dutch and Moroccan nationality, accused of importing thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the Netherlands in 2020 and 2021.

“These are serious criminal offenses related to international drug trafficking, mainly from South America via the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam”, according to a press release from the Dutch public prosecutor’s office.

The other Dutch suspect arrested in Dubai is a 40-year-old man who also has Bosnian nationality, according to the prosecution.

“One of the Dutch suspects is an extremely big fish,” a Europol source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The two Dutch suspects are believed to be linked to Ridouan Taghi, arrested in Dubai in 2019 and currently on trial in the Netherlands, the source added.

Taghi is alleged to have run a massive Amsterdam-based cocaine trafficking ring and faces multiple charges, including murder.

In Spain, the Civil Guard said a total of 13 people were arrested in Barcelona, ​​Madrid and Malaga on November 8 after 698 kilograms of cocaine were found in a container at the port of Valencia.

After an attempted arrest in Spain, the leader of this traffic, a Briton, had fled to Dubai from where he continued to direct the operations, she added in a press release, specifying that the cocaine came from the Panama and that its supplier, a Panamanian, also lived in Dubai.

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