The goal of the operation was to dismantle an extensive international criminal network called Sky ECC, which specialized in drug smuggling.
The Belgian police conducted one of the largest anti-drug trafficking operations in the history of the kingdom, confiscating more than 17 tons of cocaine and arresting 48 people, Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leu said at a press conference in Brussels. About this on Tuesday, March 9th. writes The Brussels Times.
“1,500 police officers took part in the operation, over 200 searches were carried out, 48 people were detained, and charges will be brought against them in the near future,” he said.
During the operation, the police confiscated over 17 tons of cocaine, 12 firearms, €1.2 million, a police uniform, containers with GPS beacons.
“This operation has become one of the largest in the history of Belgium,” — said Van Lev.
He explained that the purpose of the operation was to dismantle an extensive international criminal network called Sky ECC, which specialized in drug smuggling. Van Lev announced that the operation had completely eliminated this criminal organization.
The investigation of its activities was carried out for two years, its central element was the identification, interception, and decryption of messages exchanged by members of the group.
“The criminal network used special phones that did not look different from ordinary smartphones, on which a special encryption system for messages was preinstalled,” the federal prosecutor said.
Belgium is one of the key countries for international drug trafficking in Europe. In 2020, 65.5 tons of cocaine were found and seized in the country’s main seaport, Antwerp, which is an absolute record. Over the past 8 years, the volume of drug trafficking through Belgium has increased 14 times.