More than sixty people have been arrested during a large-scale operation involving Belgian French and Dutch police against a network of Albanian drug traffickers.
More than 8,200 cannabis plants were seized in Belgium and Revin in northern France. In total, fifteen plantations were dismantled, Europol said in a statement.
The wave of searches was carried out on between Wednesday and Friday by 645 police officers and gendarmes from Belgium , France and the Netherlands, aimed at “An Albanian polycriminal organization”.
According to Europol, the organisation is “active in particular in the large-scale production of cannabis, cocaine trafficking, prostitution, human trafficking, false documents and money laundering”.
The main suspects were arrested in Brussels, Liège and Amsterdam, but the network also has branches in France, as well as in Italy and England. The organisation laundered the proceeds if criminal actions “by investing in trade and buying real estate in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe”.
Among those who were imprisoned, some were subject to European arrest warrants issued by the Italian, British or Serbian judicial authorities.
The investigation, adds the prosecutor, started with the dismantling of a cannabis plantation in April 2018 in Harmiginies in the Belgian region of Mons. The information gathered in the process led back to the main figures of the network.
According to Europol, the gang ran a dozen marijuana plantations and sold the drugs in Belgium and northern France., where they have also been charged with human trafficking.
During searches, luxury cars, jewellery, dozens of mobile phones, 200 grams of cocaine and nearly € 90,000 were also seized.