Heerlen – On Wednesday, September 6, after a police investigation in Heerlen, a man was arrested who had been spotted in Belgium on suspicion of international drug trafficking. In the man’s garden, officers found tons of drug processing equipment. The 44-year-old man turned out to have to serve a sentence of seven years.
The police tracked down the man through intensive cooperation with the Italian and Belgian police. The suspicion of drug trafficking came to light through messages from communications between (encrypted) SKY ECC telephones. This happened in an Italian investigation, carried out by the Anti Mafia Investigation Directorate, which identified the 44-year-old Italian in Heerlen.
The National Criminal Investigation Department continued the investigation under the authority of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office and in collaboration with the Italian and Belgian police. After enough information was finally gathered, the suspect was arrested.
Following Sky ECC reports from the Italian investigation, evidence was believed to be buried in the garden and extensive soil testing was carried out in the rear garden. With the help of an excavator, four barrels were found under a chicken coop and a layer of concrete that were packed watertight. These barrels contained material to process drugs, among other things.
The Italian was arrested because he still has to serve a seven-year prison sentence in Belgium for drug trafficking. The Italian police are continuing their criminal investigation into, among other things, participation in a criminal organization.
The Anti-mafia team (AMT) of the National Unit has worked closely with the Direzione Investigativa Antimafia (DIA) in this case over the past year. A team from the National Criminal Investigation Department eventually took up the request for legal assistance. The collaboration was established through the European-funded project @ON, aimed at combating mafia-typical organized crime. The project focuses on network collaboration and is led by the DIA. The Netherlands is a ‘core-goup member’ in this network and is represented in it by the Dutch Anti-Mafia Team.
Eurojust and Europol provided coordination support on the day of action itself.
Information source: Politie.nl