Discovering the hidden stories of the Northern European drug trade.
The murder of an accused drug kingpin’s niece in Antwerp on Monday night came just hours before a joint Belgian-Dutch announcement that 2022 was, once again, a record-setting year for cocaine seizures in the port of Antwerp. The 11-year-old girl died after unknown gunmen fired into a garage in
A Freelancing Montenegrin Ex-Boxer and Smuggling on the High Seas After US authorities discovered nearly 20 metric tons of cocaine aboard several ships in the port of Philadelphia, prosecutors made an astounding assertion. All this cocaine, the largest amount seized in US history, had actually been destined for Rotterdam, Europe’
Belgian customs officials in Antwerp seized nearly ten metric tons of cocaine hidden in banana shipments in multiple busts last week in what customs officials say is a “White Christmas,” as tons of cocaine flood into the low countries ahead of the holidays. In two raids in Antwerp, authorities found
Nightly bombings last week appear to have been replaced by nightly shootings in Antwerp as criminal gangs fighting to control cocaine imports at the port appear to have escalated tensions that have been simmering all summer. On Monday evening, a man was shot to death in the Antwerp neighborhood of
The murder of a convicted Dutch drug trafficker in front of a hangout for a notorious Antwerp based smuggling clan is roiling the Antwerp underworld. Some observers I've talked to fear a return to the gang wars of the last decade as the premier drug traffickers of Europe start raising
Belgian and Dutch police announced on Wednesday that nearly six metric tons of cocaine hidden in a shipping container of rice from Paraguay was intercepted in the Port of Antwerp last month. The bust highlights the ports of Belgium and Holland as critical byways for industrial scale smuggling of cocaine
The assassination of famed Dutch crime reporter Peter De Vries on a busy street full of pedestriams outside an Amsterdam television studio a year ago wasn’t just the wrath of a fugitive drug kingpin, but an attack designed to terrorize Dutch society, prosecutors said during a trial of some
Forged passports, millions in euros cash and even a fake COVID death certificate couldn’t keep the cops from finally busting a former Brazilian army major who rose to become one of the largest drug smugglers on the planet. After getting kicked out of the army for drugs and money
In a darkly comedic episode in the global drug trade, the produce section of three Czech supermarkets transformed into crime scenes over the past week when hapless stockists discovered 840kg of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas. The delivery was found in the towns of Jicin and Rychnov and
Last week, Dutch cops in the port city of Rotterdam made a big announcement: On two separate occasions this past May, they discovered suspected Albanian drug traffickers secretly living inside shipping containers, protecting tons of cocaine shipments crossing the Atlantic from the Dominican Republic. Rotterdam, Europe’s biggest port, is
Last March, Dutch authorities asked Lebanese police to raid the Beirut homes of Robert Mink Kok, a notorious drug trafficker suspected of bringing several huge shipments of cocaine through the port of Rotterdam in 2019. When the cops in Beirut stormed the properties, they expected to find some guns, typical
If you work for a drug cartel, it can be surprisingly hard to get fired for utter incompetence. On the other hand, the easiest way to die a horrible death at the hands of your colleagues is for them to become convinced that you’ve been talking to the cops.