23 tons of cocaine: successful action by German police against drug traffickers

A police raid on internationally active drug traffickers from the Hanover area was organized in northern Germany on Wednesday, among other places. The case involves more than 23 tons of cocaine.

In the early morning hours of April 20, officers from the Lower Saxony State Investigation Police (Landeskriminalamt Niedersachsen), the Hannover Customs Service (Zollfahndungsamt Hannover) and the local prosecutor’s office searched a total of 35 premises in Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia. Eleven people were temporarily arrested during the raid.

Investigations were launched as early as 2020

The internationally operating group is accused of, among other things, smuggling more than 23 tons of cocaine from South America to EU countries. The manhunt was preceded by large-scale undercover investigations that employees of the Lower Saxony State Investigation Police and the Hanover Customs Service began as early as 2020. Based on the results of the investigation, the Hanover public prosecutor’s office applied for search and arrest warrants for the suspected drug traffickers, which were executed just this past Wednesday. “Today’s actions are the temporary culmination of investigations that we have been meticulously conducting since 2020,” – Chief of the National Criminal Investigation Police Friedo de Vries said.

Seizures also in other countries

The police action covered the Hanover region, as well as cities and municipalities in Lower Saxony: Celle, Walsrode, Visselhövede, Liebenburg, Sarstedt, Wolfsburg, Meinersen and Achim. In addition, sites in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Paraguay were searched. National Criminal Investigation Police chief Friedo de Vries said it was “a demonstration of efficient cooperation between European and international security authorities.”

Unusual find in Hamburg harbor

According to the NDR portal, the action is related to an unusual find in the port of Hamburg last year, when 16 tons of cocaine were seized. On February 12, 2021, after receiving information from colleagues in the Netherlands, customs officials x-rayed five containers belonging to a Rotterdam-based company that had contracted to import goods from Paraguay to Hamburg. The containers were supposed to contain putty. However, after the containers were x-rayed, it turned out that about 1,700 cans filled with sixteen tons of cocaine were also inside.

Another 7.2 tons of cocaine were found in the port of Antwerp

After receiving the information from Hamburg, Dutch security authorities checked a company in Rotterdam. It was to this company that a shipment of another 7.2 tons of cocaine was supposed to go, which was intercepted shortly thereafter by Belgian police at the port of Antwerp. Dutch police then arrested the director of the company that organized the smuggling.

Source: www.ndr.de

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