13 Jun 2024 17:30

Belgian Customs seize 6,297 kg of cocaine in European UNDA action

Belgian Customs took part in the European control days (UNDA) organised from 8 to 12 April 2024. 'Unda' is the Latin word for 'wave' – the name symbolises the deluge of cocaine flooding Europe via maritime traffic. As it has made the fight against drug trafficking one of its top priorities, the Belgian presidency supported these European control days organised by the German customs authority. This operation has also contributed to the EU's roadmap of priority measures to combat organised crime and drug trafficking.

During these controls, three major seizures were made in Antwerp: 17.68 kg of cocaine from Panama using the Rip-Off method, and 5,922 kg from Sierra Leone found in a warehouse following a special investigation. Finally, 347 kg from Ecuador transported using the Rip-Off method.

The operation, named UNDA, brought together 17 European countries. A total of 11.5 tonnes of cocaine was seized during the various phases of the operation. The targets of the checks were goods from South America and Africa.

EU customs authorities were given the opportunity to present their respective regional experiences, in order to provide the most complete overview possible of the current state of drug smuggling in the European Union. These control days should make a significant contribution to the effectiveness of the fight against drug smuggling in Europe in the future, and consequently, to the sustainable fight against the activities of organised crime groups and their structures.

The operation is integrated into the day-to-day operations of our customs, but also includes enhanced data exchange with other participants in the operation and involves establishing reports and sharing best practices.