Mitchell Prothero

Mitchell Prothero
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Last Days of 'Pablo Escobar' of Brazil

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

Mitchell Prothero
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Fresh Cocaine at Your Local Supermarket

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

Mitchell Prothero
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The "Hotel Container" Phenomenon

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

Mitchell Prothero
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The Lebanese Connection

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

Mitchell Prothero
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What Happens When the Cartel Decides You're Dirty

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.

Mitchell Prothero
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When Europe Took the Cocaine Crown from the U.S.

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

Mitchell Prothero
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Welcome to Gateway

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