Europol: Police in Europe, Latin America Crack Down on Trafficking

In a joint operation earlier this month, Spanish and Dutch police cracked down on drug trafficking routes from Latin America to Europe, seizing six metric tons of cocaine.

Police raided locations in the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Papendrecht, Rotterdam, Utrecht and the Spanish cities of Valencia and Malaga. (Source: Europol)Police raided locations in the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Papendrecht, Rotterdam, Utrecht and the Spanish cities of Valencia and Malaga. (Source: Europol explained)The two authorities raided locations across both Spain and the Netherlands, arresting five suspects for their alleged involvement in an international drug smuggling network, involving sophisticated technology and military logistics.

“Individuals with military training and experience in war missions supported the logistical set-up of the criminal network,” Europol explained. “The suspects are believed to have used self-developed encrypted mobile applications to communicate with their counterparts.”

One of the five suspects is believed to be the leader of the group. Along with the suspects and cocaine, police seized jewelry, cash, and the encrypted devices.

At the same time, police in France and Colombia worked to dismantle an international human trafficking network, Europol said Tuesday.

In a series of raids around Paris in early October, French police seized nearly $150,000 in assets and identified 9 victims from several countries who had been trafficked for the purposes of prostitution and sexual exploitation by a Colombian organized crime group.

“The organized crime group composed of Colombian nationals has been active since November 2015,” Europol said. “The suspects recruited their victims from South America and the EU and exploited them in several rental apartments in Paris and other cities spread over three French regions.”

According to Europol, the victims were trafficked through Italy, Spain and Switzerland en route to France.