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“Super cartel” alleged to have supplied a third of Europe’s cocaine have been arrested

49 suspects have been arrested and over 30 tonnes of cocaine has been seized

  • Becky Buckle
  • 8 December 2022
“Super cartel” alleged to have supplied a third of Europe’s cocaine have been arrested

Police have taken down a “super cartel” that is claimed to be responsible for a third of Europe's cocaine.

Law enforcements across six countries worked together to track down and arrest 49 suspects as well as seize over 30 tonnes of cocaine.

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) have raided through Europe and the United Arab Emirates from November 8 to November 19 targeting both the "command-and-control centre and the logistical drugs trafficking infrastructure in Europe."

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"The scale of cocaine importation into Europe under the suspects' control and command was massive," Europol have said, adding that the suspects used code to organise shipment of the drug.

The mission titled Operation Desert Light has discovered that The Netherlands was home to 14 arrests, Dubai has six "high-value targets" arrested and more arrests were made in Spain, France and Belgium.

According to Dutch authorities, one of the arrested suspects is claimed to have imported thousands of kilos of cocaine into the Netherlands in 2020 and 2021.

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The same man is also being prosecuted for laundering large amounts of money and possession of firearms.

Police began investigating this 37-year-old man after cracking the encrypted messaging service Sky ECC.

Another man that was arrested in Dubai was also investigated after police intercepted his Sky messages.

The 40-year-old is suspected of importing cocaine and raw materials for the production of amphetamines into Europe.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

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