Europol Claims it Has Dismantled "Super Cartel" That Controlled A Third Of Europe's Cocaine Trade
The European Crime Agency consisting of police from six different countries has busted a "super cartel" of drug traffickers who controlled around one-third of the cocaine being sold in Europe.
A number of raids were carried out across Europe and the United Arab Emirates between 8 and 19 November, resulting in 49 suspects being arrested, according to Europol.
The raids were carried out by a joint task force of officers from Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UAE, named "Operation Desert Light".
Europol said the coalition task force targeted both the "command-and-control centre and the logistical drugs trafficking infrastructure in Europe".
During the operation, more than 30 tonnes of narcotics were seized by authorities.
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A spokesperson for Europol said: "The scale of cocaine importation into Europe under the suspects' control and command was massive and over 30 tonnes of drugs were seized by law enforcement over the course of the investigations."
The drug traffickers used encrypted communications to arrange multi-national drug shipments.
14 suspects were arrested in the Netherlands, 13 in Spain, 10 in Belgium, and six in France, with a further "six high-value targets" arrested in Dubai.
Dutch authorities said that one of the suspects, a 37-year-old man, who was arrested in Dubai, allegedly imported thousands of kilos of cocaine into the Netherlands in 2020 and 2021.
The man, who has both Moroccan and Dutch nationality, is also being charged with possession of firearms and laundering large amounts of illicit money.
Europol added: "This coordinated clampdown sends a strong message to criminals seeking sanctuary from law enforcement."
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