Control week against criminal interference in the floriculture sector

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Westland/Rijnsburg/Aalsmeer – Due to (inter)national transport movements, the floriculture sector is interesting for criminals. They like to abuse the existing logistics network to also have weapons and drugs transported, for example. To combat this criminal interference, the Transport Facilitated Organized Crime Week (TFOC) was held from 8 to 11 May at all three auction locations of Royal Flora Holland, in Aalsmeer, Rijnsburg and Naaldwijk.

Government agencies and companies work together under the name ‘Resilient Floriculture Sector’ to protect the beauty of the floriculture sector and to tackle the vulnerable. The focus is on prevention. Entrepreneurs are helped to become resilient and encouraged to report abuses and carry out checks. They are also provided with knowledge to recognize signs of crime.

Check for errors

Checking for abuses is an important part of the approach against undermining. Even when auction locations are very busy, checks are carried out in such a way that a truck and therefore the trade do not stand still for an unnecessarily long time. In such busy periods, such as the week before Mother’s Day, abuses are lurking. In addition to drug smuggling, this could include violations of, for example, the Working Hours Act.

By checking efficiently and actively, the partners contribute to a safe working environment and a fair competitive position for entrepreneurs who do everything by the book. The aim is a safe floriculture sector and the prevention of criminal interference.


Last week’s checks were integral. The Police Unit The Hague and the National Unit, together with the Tax and Customs Administration, Customs and the Dutch Labor Inspectorate, carried out inspections for four days. They worked together with the supervisors of the municipalities of Westland, Katwijk, Aalsmeer and Uithoorn, Royal FloraHolland, RIEC The Hague and RIEC Amsterdam-Amstelland.

Caught in the act

More than 250 trucks were fully checked during the inspection week. Based on this, 50 official reports were drawn up for violations. Six drivers were found to be under the influence and were therefore arrested, as were two suspects who were caught red-handed in theft at the auction. Customs performed more than 30 scans and the Labor Inspectorate checked more than 70 drivers. Further investigation will follow in at least 9 cases. 1 stolen vehicle, 60,000 euros in cash, illegal tobacco, a stabbing weapon and a trading quantity of narcotics have been seized.

In addition to checks, many conversations were also held with drivers and entrepreneurs to increase awareness (and thus resilience).

Awareness of risks of criminal interference

In addition to the checks, the action week was aimed at increasing awareness of the risks of criminal interference in the floriculture sector. During company visits, discussions were held with employees and employers of companies on the Royal Flora Holland sites. Because these employees and donors are themselves active in the floriculture sector, they are better placed than anyone to identify anomalous matters that may be indications of criminal activity. By discussing the dangers and giving tips on how to recognize and report the signals, companies in the sector become more aware and resilient. The company visits thus ensure that the sector and the government work together even better to combat criminal interference.

Resilient Floriculture Sector and TFOC

Organized crime tries to abuse the floriculture sector and the people who work in it. For example, for smuggling of narcotics and labor exploitation. This sector is attractive for criminal interference due to its international character and its intricate logistics. The police, the Public Prosecution Service, the Tax and Customs Administration, Customs, Royal FloraHolland, RIEC The Hague and RIEC Amsterdam-Amstelland, among others, and the municipalities of Westland, Katwijk, Aalsmeer and Uithoorn are working together to tackle subversive crime and abuses. These parties want to thwart criminals and make companies in the sector resilient. By sharing knowledge, promoting supervision, control and enforcement, increasing willingness to report and erecting barriers. The Transport Facilitated Organized Crime (TFOC) program of the National Police Unit focuses on combating and preventing organized crime in the transport sector in the Netherlands and therefore fits in seamlessly with the aim of the Weerbare Ornamental Sector programme. For the control week, we have therefore joined forces to make drivers, entrepreneurs and other important players in the industry as effectively as possible resistant to criminal interference.

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