BRUSSELS, KOMPAS.com - Belgian authorities busted a big cocaine ring and dismantled a criminal drug trafficking network that allegedly relied of corrupt police officers.
Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cocaine are shipped into Wester Europe by corrupt cops, officials said Thursday.
The investigation into the massive cocaine ring began when a container containing 2.8 tons of cocaine was found last year in the Belgian city of Antwerp.
Read also: Record Cocaine Seizures in EU as Drug Trade Thrives during Pandemic
That drug bust uncovered an international drug trafficking network with connections in at least four different European countries and South America.
Officials said Thursday that, including the Antwerp seizure, police have confiscated a total 3.5 tons of cocaine imported by the network, as well as €2 million ($2.3 million), some €1.3 million of it in cash.
Read also: Police Raid in Nijeveen Uncovers Biggest Cocaine Lab in the Netherlands
Belgium's federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said the operation showed how much drug trafficking is penetrating society after the investigation led to the arrest of three police officers and a retired gendarme.
A lawyer and a doctor are also suspected of taking part in the network he described as a “crime syndicate".
“It's very worrying to see how criminals can get involved in the highest spheres and try to make the legal world dirty with crime money," Van Leeuw told a press conference in Brussels.