Almost 50 people have been arrested in several European countries and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of a long-running operation against a cocaine “supercartel.”
The European police authority released details of the coordinated raids in the Hague on Monday.
Among those arrested were six who are classified as “high-level” drug lords, all of whom were apprehended in Dubai.
Police forces from Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UAE and the US were involved in the operations in November 2022 and the previous year. The raids had targeted both a command centre and the logistical infrastructure for drug trafficking in Europe.
Those arrested are said to have formed a cartel that controlled about one third of the cocaine trade in Europe and engaged in extensive money laundering.
Europol says the scale of cocaine smuggling into Europe under the control of this cartel was “huge,” with more than 30 tons of drugs seized in the course of the investigation.