Belgian customs authorities at the Port of Antwerp seized a staggering 308 kilograms of cocaine on Friday, as reported by the Belgian Federal Ministry of Finance on Saturday.
The illicit narcotics were discovered concealed within a shipment of cocoa beans originating from Haiti, located at a logistics company, according to official sources.
The contraband was ingeniously divided into 274 discreet packages, artfully hidden within a dozen sports bags, as disclosed in an official statement by the ministry.
This substantial seizure marks a chilling milestone for the port, as customs officials revealed that during the course of the year 2022, they have intercepted an unprecedented amount of nearly 110 tonnes of cocaine arriving from Latin America.
This figure surpasses the 100-tonne threshold for the first time in the port’s history, signifying a worrying escalation in drug trafficking. Comparatively, in the preceding year of 2021, the recorded cocaine seizures amounted to 89.5 tonnes.
This alarming increase in drug trafficking through the Port of Antwerp underscores the challenges faced by authorities in their ongoing efforts to combat the flow of illegal narcotics into Europe.
Belgian law enforcement agencies, along with their international counterparts, are intensifying their operations to curtail this perilous trade and dismantle the networks responsible for it.