Drug Seizure in Rotterdam

August 21, 2023



I’ve never been to the Netherlands. In fact, I’ve never been to Europe at all. However, if you’ve been alive as a coherent human being in the past forty years or so, you know that the Eastern side of that continent is known for its… eccentric activities, shall we say. Red light districts, late nights, and yes… illicit substances. The drug trade in Europe has been heating up, especially in recent years, leading to an uptick in drug-related and violent crimes.

Drug Seizures in Europe

For example, a reported 303 tons of cocaine were seized in Europe in 2021 alone. The logistics industry has dealt with the complications of criminal activity more or less since its inception, and from the looks of it, that is an issue that won’t be solved any time soon.

Drug Trafficking Tactics

Using shipments of common goods like fruits and vegetables to hide drugs being trafficked long distances has always been a tactic among those looking to move large quantities of them across the world. It seems as though for drug traffickers, true classics never go out of style, as a record amount of cocaine was confiscated in Rotterdam two weeks ago. The narcotics were being transported inside a shipment of bananas from Ecuador, which is part of the South American hotbed of the drug trade.

Ecuador’s Drug-Related Violence

Ecuador in particular has been embroiled in a large uptick in drug-related violence, including homicide and intimidation, with gangs engaging in territorial battles with each other, mainly over control of the country’s numerous ports. This comes in addition to a number of attacks and even assassinations on Ecuadorian government officials in recent months, which has led to a state of emergency in some parts of the nation, as well as its entire prison system in order to try to mitigate the surge in violent crimes.

Logistics Industry Vigilance

In the logistics industry, shippers, carriers, and providers are trained to keep their heads on a swivel when it comes to these types of events. In certain situations, the logistics company may be the ones that have to take responsibility if something like this happens. I have personally heard of situations of careless or nefarious people in this industry turning situations from fire-able offenses to literal matters of national security… but those are stories for another time (or another blog post).


Jack H

Works Cited: Despite record cocaine seizures, drug cartels roil Europe | AP News
Dutch customs officials make record cocaine seizure worth 600 million euros | AP News

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