Incinerators can no longer handle ‘mountain of cocaine’ seized in Antwerp port
Credit: FPS Finance
The amount of cocaine being seized at the port of Antwerp is so large that the incinerators can no longer burn it all, which is why tonnes of drugs are now being stored in customs warehouses.
In 2021, customs, police and courts seized nearly 90 tonnes of cocaine in the port of Antwerp – an absolute record, but it will likely be broken again this year as customs expects that the 100-tonne mark will be reached this year. Street value: (at least) €5 billion.
However, these record amounts of cocaine are causing a major security problem: authorised incinerators cannot process the seized cocaine, so the stockpile continues to grow. Currently, dozens of tonnes of coke are waiting to be destroyed in customs warehouses.
“The rapid destruction of confiscated goods is an ongoing challenge,” Francis Adyns, spokesperson for the FPS Finance, under which Customs falls, told Gazet van Antwerpen. “Due to the technical limitation of the licensed incinerators and environmental standards, we have to use several incinerators.”
Several weeks ago, Antwerp prosecutor Franky De Keyser already raised the alarm with Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne, as “the mountain of cocaine” is now so big that criminal gangs might well get the idea of raiding the customs warehouses . . . .
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