Cocaine trafficking through Dutch flower auction; Criminal gang busted

With the arrest of three men (24, 37 and 52), the police and the Public Prosecution Service think they have rounded up a criminal organization that would have been active at the flower auction in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands. The men are suspected of international drug trafficking, money laundering and participation in a criminal organization.

The police investigation focuses on the transport of individual batches of cocaine. It is supposedly a total of more than 200 kilos. The first load was intercepted in February 2020 as a result of a transport from a warehouse in the immediate vicinity of the flower auction in Aalsmeer. The packages were hidden in flower boxes. The flowers were used as cover cargo. This cargo turned out to have been sent from a company in Amstelveen. The owner of this company was then identified as a suspect. In September 2020, a second shipment was intercepted. This led to another suspect, an employee of an export company, based at the flower auction.

Encrypted data
Messages from cracked PGP telephones accelerate the investigation and the criminal investigation department gets a closer look at a third suspect. The drug line to other countries will also come to light in more concrete terms. “In this investigation, we see that communication from users of Sky ECC provides crucial information. For example, the third suspect was already a suspect for money laundering, but the encrypted data allowed us to expand the suspicion against him with export of hard drugs," says a tactical detective from the investigation team.

On Saturday, June 5, 2021, the three men were arrested in Amsterdam, Uithoorn and Vleuten. During searches - in homes and business premises in Amsterdam, Badhoevedorp, Utrecht, Amstelveen, Aalsmeer and Uithoorn - the police seized an amount of cash and, among other things, computers, telephones and various means of transport.

Two of the three men are still in custody. The 52-year-old man's pre-trial detention has been lifted. Until last Friday, two of the three suspects were in all restrictions. The investigation continues. More arrests are not ruled out.


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