Six Londoners arrested over Airbnb cocaine trafficking operation

Six Londoners have been arrested for running an immense international drug dealing community in Antwerp out of a bunch of vacation condominium homes including Airbnbs.

Belgian police seized more than £20m value of cocaine and arrested the British men, elderly between 25 to 43 years vintage, on charges of importing huge amounts of gear during the port of Antwerp and storing it in apartments around the city.

Government also raided a couple of houses rented by the use of Airbnb and Booking.com believed to be associated with the global smuggling crew.

in a single apartment in Kalmthout, north-east of Antwerp, police found some 580 kilos of cocaine, with a side road price of around £22.7 million.

an additional 98 packets of the drug were discovered stashed in suitcases in some other belongings within the Flemish city of Sint-Niklaas, in line with native prosecutors.

“what’s putting is that they used houses which can be let out by the use of Airbnb or Booking.com. The properties had been used as temporary bases and as storage amenities for consignments of cocaine,” mentioned Kristof Aerts, spokesman for the Antwerp Judicial Authority.

Airbnb and Booking.com were not in an instant to be had for comment.

“At this level in the investigation it could seem that a staff of British criminals used to be going to trade a large consignment of cocaine. the medicine are believed to have been smuggled in via Antwerp docks,” Mr Aerts delivered.

The British men all face hearings before the end of the week.

In contemporary years, Antwerp, a genteel port city, has change into known as a global medication gateway and the cocaine capital of Europe.

Europol, the EU’s policing agency, reported that some 65.6 tonnes of cocaine was once seized in town last yr alone.

Belgium’s police forces have ramped up their operations in opposition to criminal gangs running within the us of a, continuously with heaps of officials taking part in expert raids.

Antwerp police ultimate week detained twenty suspects, luxurious cars, watches, firearms and £30,000 in cash as a part of an operation to dismantle smuggling networks.

Cyber experts also are an increasing number of capable of crack encrypted messages, permitting police to create a map of the criminals’ complete operations.

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