500 kg of cocaine found between printing paper in Ghent port: … (Ghent)

Patrick Willocx of the federal police at the catch © Stef Van Overstraeten


Last week, the Federal Police discovered 500 kg of cocaine in the port of Ghent. The drugs were found during a targeted check on a Brazilian fruit juice boat from Santos.

Arnout Cogen

In addition to fruit juice, the ship also transported containers with printing paper. In those containers, the police discovered 50 boxes with 10 packets of cocaine each. All together, the drugs have a total street value of about 25 million euros.

The Federal judicial police, the Belgian and Dutch Customs and the Shipping Police joined forces for the inspection. The ship was examined from head to toe. Divers examined the outside of the ship and with the help of a drug dog and civil defense, the cargo was checked.

Bulk carriers such as fruit juice tankers are popular with smugglers. Earlier this year, the police already found 216 kilograms on such a ship in the port of Ghent. The drugs were hidden in a watertight container below the waterline, on the outside of the ship. Peanuts versus catches in Antwerp, but it was the largest drug catch of 2020 in the port of Ghent. (read more below photo)

© Stef Van Overstraeten

“Antwerp is a container port, in Ghent more goods are delivered in bulk, such as fruit juice and coal,” drug detective Evert of the federal judicial police (FGP) told De Gentenaar last summer. “A container can easily be filled with drugs in its own warehouse. With a coal load, for example, you have to get on the ship itself and then get the drugs off the ship.”

According to the shipping police, the port of Ghent is attractive to smugglers because it is more open than that of Antwerp. “And the commercial merger of the ports of Ghent and Vlissingen/Terneuzen to form North Sea Port has also made the port more attractive for drug gangs,” Patrick Willocx of the East Flemish federal judicial police said earlier.

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