Authorities Seize 35.5 Tonnes Worth €2.6 Billion in Germany

In a historic crackdown on illegal drug trade, German authorities have seized 35.5 tonnes of cocaine, marking the country’s largest cocaine bust to date.

The confiscated drugs have an estimated street value of around €2.6 billion ($2.8 billion), as announced by police and prosecutors on Monday.

The massive haul included 24.5 tonnes found in Hamburg, eight tonnes seized in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and three tonnes intercepted in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

These drugs were concealed in nine shipping containers amidst crates of fruit and other legitimate goods between April and September last year.

German investigators were tipped off by Colombian authorities, leading to a coordinated effort with Europol under an operation named “OP Plexus.”

This collaboration identified eight primary suspects: two Germans, two Turks, and individuals from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Morocco, and Ukraine. Raids across Germany in late May and early June this year resulted in the arrest of seven suspects.

Authorities believe the suspects, along with unidentified accomplices based in Turkey, orchestrated the smuggling operation through dozens of fake companies.

During the raids, police confiscated several mobile phones and laptops, along with gold bars, €23,300 in cash, and a Porsche valued at approximately €250,000.

Tino Ingelmann, head of the customs investigation unit in Duesseldorf, highlighted the increasing volumes of cocaine being seized annually in Germany. In 2023 alone, about 43 tonnes of the drug were intercepted.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner commended the efforts of the authorities, emphasizing the government’s commitment to protecting the nation’s security. “Every criminal must know that we will defend the security of our citizens and our businesses. We will defend it resolutely and vigorously,” Lindner stated.

Share this:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *