October 2, 2020, 08.16 PM

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Authorities this week conducted 54 raids in Belgium, while more than a dozen searches were carried out in the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Prosecutors said 29 people were arrested, among them sixteen who have been charged with importing drugs, money laundering and participating in a crime organization.

In addition to the 2,800 kilos found in Antwerp, another shipment of 650 kilos was stopped during the investigation, the prosecutor's office said.

Authorities also seized weapons, about 40 vehicles, €1.3 million in cash, €700,000 ($822,000) on various bank accounts as well as stocks worth €62,000 ($72,850).

In the Netherlands, three people were placed in custody before their transfer to Belgium and one suspect was arrested in Spain.

Supported by the EU agency for criminal justice cooperation Eurojust, the investigation established that the network managed to import 10 shipments of 650 kilos of cocaine each, with an estimated street value of at least €325 million.

Read also: 5 Indonesians Face Possible Death Penalty in Malaysia for Drug Smuggling

“The quantity we seized can seem gigantic, but it's infinitely small compared to what really goes through," Van Leeuw said.

With thousands of containers reaching Antwerp every day, the Belgian port city is one of Europe’s main ports of entry to Europe for cocaine.

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