Belgian police try to intercept cocaine, but most of it makes it to Europe anyway

Willem Marx:

Manolo Tersago heads the anti-drug service of Antwerp at the Federal Judicial Police of Belgium.

According to him, several factors make Antwerp attractive for smugglers: Its port is a hub for Europe. It’s huge and difficult to patrol. And it lacks enough x-ray scanners. The large tunnel we saw is about a mile from the docks and gives smugglers time to extract drugs between unloading ships at the dock and inspections.

Then there is the human factor. Some 700 customs officers monitor 60,000 dockers, crane operators and terminal workers. And authorities say some are definitely corrupted by well-organized and well-funded criminal groups from Albania, Italy and Morocco.

Manolo Tersago, judicial police of Antwerp: They bribe everyone. So you have a few people apparently. They are ready to receive a large sum of money for sometimes a very small job. And this little work could be limited to giving information about the container and its location.

They also put people on their payroll, and these people they try to get a certain job so that they are close to other port workers. And then they will filter people and they look for weaknesses. For example, someone is divorced or has gambling debts. And then they give these names to criminal organizations and just for giving these names they get around 10,000 euros for a name.

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