Long-running cocaine case ended by trial agreements

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Long-running cocaine case ended by trial agreements

The court in Assen convicted seven men from Emmen, Hilversum, Utrecht, Amsterdam and The Hague on Tuesday in the drawn-out cocaine case “Druif”, about the preparation and execution of large transports of cocaine from Brazil between 2019 and 2021. Two Emmen residents Willem B. and Jannes O., and Utrecht Moustapha A. headed a criminal organization, the court said. The court hands out sentences between 15 and 36 months. The public prosecutor and the lawyers of the suspects had made trial agreements.

Dangerous

With the judgment, the court approves the agreements made. The men have not put forward a substantive defense against the accusations and have agreed not to appeal. In return, the Public Prosecution Service has moderated the sentencing demands against the men.

According to the Public Prosecution Service, Moustapha A. had contacts in South America with cocaine sellers. The people of Emmen were in the wholesale business of scrap iron. Large scrap metal transports are attractive as cover cargo for drug smugglers because the extra weight of the cocaine is hardly noticeable. In addition, scan checks are difficult and physical checks are dangerous for customs officers.

Brazilian customs

The investigation has recorded how several members of the organization traveled to Brazil to organize the shipment of containers and make payments. There were also initial plans to hide it in shiploads of salt. One shipment was intercepted by Brazilian customs. A successful transport did not occur.

An eighth suspect had not made any trial arrangements. The court acquitted this man. This man had helped prepare shipments of scrap iron from South America, but in the court’s opinion there is insufficient evidence that he knew that cocaine would also be smuggled.

See more about the case:

Justice: ‘Emmens leaders of cocaine line from South America’

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