Law enforcement agents across six countries joined forces to bust a "super cartel" of drug traffickers controlling about one-third of cocaine flows into Europe, the European Union crime agency stated Monday.
???? Super cartel controlling one third of Europe’s cocaine trade is taken down
???? 49 arrests following parallel investigations in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UAE with the support of Europol
— Europol (@Europol) November 28, 2022
Europol said a series of raids (dubbed "Operation Desert Light") between Nov. 8 and 19 in multiple countries led to the arrest of 49 suspects and the seizure of 30 tons of drugs. The raids were in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UAE.
"The drugpins, considered as high-value targets by Europol, had come together to form what was known as a 'super cartel' which controlled around one-third of the cocaine trade in Europe," Europol said.
"The scale of cocaine importation into Europe under the suspects' control and command was massive and over 30 tons of drugs were seized by law enforcement over the course of the investigations," the law enforcement agency said, adding cartel members used a super encrypted communication network to arrange drug shipments.
The Netherlands had the most arrests, with 14 suspects in 2021 and six "high-value targets" in Dubai. Shipments of cocaine were imported from Panama in Central America.
"This coordinated clampdown sends a strong message to criminals seeking sanctuary from law enforcement," Europol said.
Mon, 11/28/2022 - 23:20