Port of Rotterdam (Maritime Gateway)

Four tons of cocaine destined for Portugal seized by Customs in Rotterdam

Four tons of cocaine bound for Portugal – with a street value of around €313 million – have been apprehended in Rotterdam.

The drug was concealed within two containers loaded with bags of soya.

The haul, described as one of the largest for Dutch customs this year, comes on the back of almost daily drug seizures at the port.

Europol says Rotterdam is a major entry point for drugs, with the Netherlands and Belgium already established as central hubs for cocaine.

This particular consignment arrived from Paraguay, via Uruguay.

Its onward destination was “a company in Portugal”, explains Correio da Manhã – but that doesn’t mean the company is part of the trafficking operation.

It is just as likely that the drug was to be ‘lifted’ by third parties from the containers en-route to Portugal or at point of arrival.

All these hypotheses will now be investigated, while the cocaine has reportedly been destroyed.

In a recent report, Europol describes the North Sea as having “overtaken” the Iberian peninsula as the primary point of entry for cocaine reaching Europe.

Cocaine is now the second-most popular drug in Western and Central Europe, with the most recent estimates suggesting it has a market of around 4.4 million users.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com