Whereas ‘nit-picking’ Dutch port officers made headlines on Monday for seizing a trucker’s ham sandwiches and telling him ‘welcome to Brexit‘, the nation’s transport terminals are infamous hubs for drug smuggling gangs which have left the Netherlands in worry of turning into a ‘narco-state’. 

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Famously tolerant of hashish use, the Netherlands can also be a seen as a ‘gateway for South American cocaine’ and an ‘very best surroundings’ for the medication commerce.  

Whereas greater than 14,000kg of cocaine are seized by Dutch authorities yearly, it’s believed that round 80 per cent of the availability goes undetected – making the nation one of many main drug-trafficking hubs in Europe.  

Typically hidden in fruit shipments, a number of the profitable stashes of cocaine are value greater than £100million and are generally smuggled together with firearms. 

The felony commerce at Dutch ports has additionally began to seep into the mainland, with gang violence inflicting an outcry in Amsterdam the place drug kingpins run money-laundering rackets and a ‘ring of hustlers and parasites’ have ‘free rein’.   

Busted: In one major drugs raid last year, more than two tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of £136million were found in a banana shipment in Rotterdam

Busted: In a single main medication raid final 12 months, greater than two tons of cocaine with an estimated road worth of £136million had been present in a banana cargo in Rotterdam

Crackdown: A lorry driver arriving from Britain had his ham sandwiches confiscated by Dutch police under the new Brexit rules in footage which made headlines on Monday

Crackdown: A lorry driver arriving from Britain had his ham sandwiches confiscated by Dutch police below the brand new Brexit guidelines in footage which made headlines on Monday 

In a single main drug bust final 12 months, greater than two tons of cocaine with an estimated road worth of £136million had been present in a banana cargo in Rotterdam. 

Arriving from Ecuador, the unlawful medication had been meant to make use of Holland as a gateway to Europe earlier than making their option to Hungary. 

Rotterdam is Europe’s largest sea port and handles almost 15million containers a 12 months, solely a small fraction of that are routinely scanned. 

Even when containers are inspected, gangs can use accomplices at Dutch and Belgian docks to sneak previous authorities. 

Final 12 months, police found that seven transport containers had even been tailored into jail cells and a ‘torture chamber’ utilized by the felony underworld.

Believed for use for kidnappings, ‘torture chamber’ included what appeared like a dentist’s chair with straps for the prisoner’s legs and arms. 

Six folks had been arrested on suspicion of ‘getting ready kidnappings and hostage-taking’ after the containers had been found close to the Belgian border in a raid linked to the medication commerce. 

Pieter Tops, a professor on the Dutch police academy, mentioned in October that Holland’s tolerant penal system and its intensive transport hyperlinks make it an ‘very best surroundings for the medication commerce’. 

The professor mentioned that schoolchildren had been generally provided €500 to move a bundle whereas farmers had been approached about letting out their land to drug gangs.  

‘The primary drawback is the large circulate of cash and its rippling impact all through our society,’ he advised Dutch News.  

A 2019 report by the EU’s drug company estimated that round 14,600kg of cocaine are seized within the Netherlands yearly – with a separate IMF report giving a ‘seizure charge’ of round 20 per cent. 

Tops mentioned that every kilogram of cocaine is value round €50,000, which means the general commerce is value billions.    

'Torture chamber': Last year, police discovered that seven shipping containers had even been adapted into prison cells used by the criminal underworld

‘Torture chamber’: Final 12 months, police found that seven transport containers had even been tailored into jail cells utilized by the felony underworld

Shipping hub: The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and handles nearly 15million containers a year, making it an attractive gateway for drug smugglers

Transport hub: The port of Rotterdam is the most important in Europe and handles almost 15million containers a 12 months, making it a pretty gateway for drug smugglers 

In Amsterdam, a report commissioned by metropolis authorities in 2019 discovered that tough medication had led to rising violence and corruption by the hands of ‘hustlers, parasites and extortionists’. 

The Netherlands has a ‘coverage of toleration’ on gentle medication which implies that Amsterdam’s ‘espresso outlets’ are usually not prosecuted for promoting marijuana. 

‘Separating gentle and laborious medication shields the customers of soppy medication from the felony circuit that’s concerned within the laborious medication commerce,’ the federal government says.  

However the report discovered that the identical ‘toleration’ was step by step being prolonged to tougher medication, with as much as 17 per cent of the inhabitants utilizing cocaine or heroin. 

‘Amsterdam has given free rein…to a motley crew of medication criminals, a hoop of hustlers and parasites, middle-men and extortionists, of doubtful notaries and actual property agent,’ the report mentioned. 

On the prime of the felony chain are rich organised crime bosses who will not be bodily situated in Amsterdam, the report mentioned. 

On the backside are ‘lackeys similar to scooter and taxi chauffeurs and even younger messenger boys set to observe fairly a profession path: providing homicide as a service.’ 

The report additionally discovered proof of money-laundering programs and turf wars between drug retailers in Amsterdam. 

Throughout the Netherlands, round six per cent of males aged 15-34 and three per cent of girls in the identical age group say they use cocaine. 

Hashish produced in Holland can also be bought to different international locations, whereas Dutch ports function some extent of transit for cocaine to be transported elsewhere in Europe.  

In 2019, the killing of a lawyer for a protected witness in a medication case led the pinnacle of a Dutch police union to say that ‘we undoubtedly have the traits of a narco-state’. 

‘Positive we’re not Mexico. We do not have 14,400 murders. However for those who take a look at the infrastructure, the large cash earned by organised crime, the parallel financial system. Sure, we have now a narco-state,’ Jan Struijs advised BBC News on the time.

The murdered lawyer, Derk Wiersum, was shot useless within the Amsterdam suburbs by a person wearing black who fled on foot and was regarded as no older than 20. 

Dutch customs confiscate dozens of sandwiches and packets of meat from people arriving via ferry from the United Kingdom at Hook of Holland

Dutch customs confiscate dozens of sandwiches and packets of meat from folks arriving by way of ferry from the UK at Hook of Holland 

Wiersum was representing a ‘supergrass’ witness in a medication case who had lower a cope with prosecutors to offer proof in opposition to suspected underworld bosses. 

Months later, one other Dutch lawyer concerned in a number of drug-related instances was shot throughout the border in Germany, though he was not critically injured.      

Hook of Holland, the place the British trucker had his ham sandwich confiscated final week, was additionally the departure level for a 35kg cocaine run to Britain which was finally uncovered when the cargo arrived in Humberside.

Lorry driver Hendrik van der Genugten was later jailed for 10 years after smuggling the medication out of the Netherlands in 2019. 

Police in Hook of Holland had been faster to eliminate the offending sandwich below the brand new Brexit guidelines, resulting in claims of ‘nit-picking’. 

‘Welcome to the Brexit, sir… I am sorry,’ mentioned one official as he seized the foil-wrapped sandwiches belonging to the driving force.  

The driving force plaintively asks the Dutch customs officer if he can ‘take off the meat and you allow me the bread?’

However the Dutch official replies: ‘No, all the pieces will probably be confiscated.’ 

‘The entire story smacks of 1 sandwich wanting a picnic, actually,’ Brexiteer MP Andrew Bridgen advised MailOnline.

‘Because the Dutch know in addition to everybody else within the EU we have now the very best meals requirements in Europe. 

‘Is that is going to be the way in which it’s then? Are they actually going to undergo a lorry driver’s lunchbox going by means of customs, for one thing that’s inflicting any hazard?

‘We have to speak to the European Union about what is actually fairly pathetic nit-picking. In any other case this won’t be good for the Dutch ports, hauliers will go elsewhere.’ 

Mark Francois, Chairman of parliament’s European Analysis Group, mentioned: ‘That is pettifogging paperwork gone mad.

‘The EU have all the time apprehensive {that a} dynamic, free-trading UK, exterior the EU, would finally eat their lunch on world markets, so now they’re retaliating by attempting to steal our truckers’ lunches as an alternative! It’s pathetic actually.’

The brand new post-Brexit guidelines say that bringing meals that comprise meat or dairy into the EU, even for private use, is forbidden. 



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