Often when one mentions drug cartels, the Columbian drug cartel popularised by Netflix comes to mind. A trade route involving shipment by plane from the tiny nation of Columbia, which transports drugs from Mexico to its target customers in the US. However, the flow of drugs and narcotic shipments en masse doesn’t limit the American continent, especially after heavy crackdowns that have swept the region’s powerful cartels. Drug cartels based in Morocco’s clientele are in the Netherlands.
Although the Netherlands has banned the consumption and possession of drugs, it still is quite lenient in its prosecutions and fines involving drugs. This makes the Netherlands a haven from where not only domestic but the drug trade all over Europe berths into the European continent. Netherlands’s essential ports and transport system is taken advantage of with the crane operators bribed to move the proper drug containers for €100,000 and €20,000 for each worker to look the other way.
Hence 8.5 million containers of cocaine enter the country each year. But here drugs come, violence is inevitable, and ever since drugs started being around in 2012 in Antwerp, famous and ordinary folk alike have been gunned down at the time in broad daylight in the city of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. An estimated €15- 30 Bn is laundered in the ‘coffee shops ‘, bars and tourist spots. Even though not considered one due to the frugal spending of the government and the tolerance to drug consumption, many have called Netherlands ‘Narco-State 2.0’.Justice minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius recently said in parliament.“We will never have as much money as the criminals opposite us, but there has never before been as much structural money to tackle them, from prevention to disrupting earning models, punishing people and protecting those on the frontline,”
Journalists and lawyers alike trying to fight the corruption, murder, and trafficking have led to court trials involving drug organisation whistleblowers and witnesses to be guarded by the Dutch army.
Paul Vugts is a crime reporter for Het Parool, a paper based in Amsterdam. He commented on the sluggish nature of the government’s response to the upheaval in-country. He expressed his grievances by saying, “It took the killing of a crime blogger, the innocent brother of a crown witness against [alleged drug gang chief] Ridouan Taghi and others, then the witness’s lawyer Derk Wiersum, and last summer my colleague Peter R de Vries, the crown witness’s official confidant. We don’t have a mafia-like Italy, but this kind of violence is mafia-like. It is terror.”