Another nine people were arrested on Monday in the Antwerp judicial investigation into the attempt by a group of Dutch people to steal back a shipment of 10 tons of cocaine from the authorities. Five men were ultimately brought before the investigating judge. The Belgian justice department carried out searches at eleven locations.
On October 17, 2023, Customs discovered a shipment of cocaine in a container on a ship that was moored at quay 1742. The container was then taken to a warehouse in Kalmthout, where the packages of cocaine were unloaded from a deck cargo of soy meal.
An initial count revealed a shipment of approximately 10 tons of cocaine. Until now it was only known that the amount involved was a few tons.
After dropping off the consignment, Belgian officers saw that armed men were nearby in Kalmthout.
Not much later, a small truck with Dutch license plates was stuck near the IJzerlaan in Antwerp. There were seven men on board between the ages of 22 and 35 with Dutch nationality. Three handguns were found in the vehicle.
That same day, 7.7 tons of cocaine were seized in the Netherlands in Bleiswijk and six men were arrested.
A white van with a Belgian license plate was seen in Kalmthout. The judicial investigation showed that this was a rental car.
The tenants and possible other people involved were then identified, which led to Monday’s action.
The investigating judge ordered 11 searches on Monday in Aalst, Antwerp, Berchem, Bertem, Evere, Kampenhout, Kortenberg, Machelen and Zaventem. Nine men between 23 and 34 were arrested, five of whom were also brought to trial.
The investigating judge suspects that he will arrest four men for theft with violence with aggravating circumstances, attempted theft with violence with aggravating circumstances, violations of the Weapons Act, membership of a criminal organization and unlawful deprivation of liberty.
The judicial investigation continues.