KABUL (BNA) Police have smashed a huge drugs “super-cartel” that controlled around a third of Europe’s cocaine trade, arresting 49 people in various countries, including six chief suspects in Dubai.
The international operation codenamed “Desert Light” seized 30 tonnes of the drug and led to arrests in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Spain, the European Union’s police agency said in a statement.
The crackdown in Dubai netted a “big fish” from the Netherlands, who reportedly had links to alleged Dutch crime boss Ridouan Taghi, himself seized in the Gulf emirate in 2019.
“The drugpins, considered as high-value targets by Europol, had come together to form what was known as a ‘super cartel’ which controlled around one third of the cocaine trade in Europe,” Europol said.
Europol says that the investigation focused on drugs that were imported from South America through the Netherlands, and the majority of people were arrested during the year 2021.
Some time ago, the Dutch police announced the arrest of a large group of drugs.
The rest of the people were arrested in joint operations in six mentioned countries from November 8 to 19.
In a video posted on YouTube by the European Police Agency, the inspectors are seen searching and locking up houses full of expensive cars, but it is not yet clear if any assets were confiscated in these operations.
According to Europol, a new deal with the United Arab Emirates has opened the way for its surveillance to access data and catch criminals one by one.
An anonymous Europol source said: F. P told the news agency that among the arrested people there is also a Dutch citizen who had relations with the king of the country’s crime world ‘Rizwan Taghi’.
It was said about this man that he is widely accused of drug trafficking and money laundering, and the Dutch prosecutors said that they will ask the United Arab Emirates to hand him over to them.
Researchers say that data from the last decade show that access to drugs in Europe has increased year by year.