European authorities arrested over four dozen people accused of running a “super cartel” that controlled a third of the cocaine trade in the continent.
Coordinated raids took place across Europe and the United Arab Emirates between Nov. 8 and Nov. 19, targeting control centers and drug trafficking infrastructure in Europe, according to Europol. The agency said that it arrested 49 “drugpins” during the course of its operation.
“The scale of cocaine importation into Europe under the suspects’ control and command was massive and over 30 tons of drugs were seized by law enforcement over the course of the investigations,” Europol said in a news release.
In total, 14 arrests were made in the Netherlands, 13 in Spain, 10 in Belgium and six in France, along with an additional six “high-value” arrests in the UAE.
One of the suspects arrested in Dubai is accused of importing thousands of pounds of cocaine into the Netherlands in 2020 and 2021, according to the New York Post. The suspect is also being prosecuted for laundering large amounts of money and on gun charges.
Another suspect arrested in Dubai is accused of importing cocaine into Europe as well as raw materials for making amphetamines.
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The alleged leader of the cartel is a British man who fled Spain for Dubai where he continued to direct the cartel’s activities.