Discovering the hidden stories of the Northern European drug trade.
Nightly bombings last week appear to have been replaced by nightly shootings in Antwerp as criminal gangs fighting to control cocaine imports at the port appear to have escalated tensions that have been simmering all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.
After dethroning the United States last year as the world’s single-largest cocaine market, Europe appears set to hang onto the title for the foreseeable future: A few months into 2022, the continent has broken the all-time record for single seizures, with the busy ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp playing
One night in Beirut, about 10 years ago, I walked into a French bistro to catch up with a longtime source at a European intelligence service. Before that, he’d spent years as an undercover cop working on organized crime, a portfolio that included drug investigations. As the night wore