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Cablegate: 4,500 Kilos of Cocaine Seized in Netherlands

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS THE HAGUE 002455

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/UBI, INL
DOJ FOR JUDI FRIEDMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR CO NL VZ
SUBJECT: 4,500 KILOS OF COCAINE SEIZED IN NETHERLANDS

1. Dutch police have seized 4,500 kilos of cocaine - the
largest cocaine seizure on record in the Netherlands - at the
port of Rotterdam. Police kept the August 3 seizure under
wraps until the September 4 arrests of 13 suspects from the
Netherlands and Colombia.

2. The cocaine, hidden inside two large steel cable spools,
is worth an estimated 273 million dollars. Loading papers
indicated the shipment originated in Venezuela and was
destined for Iraq via Rotterdam and Antwerp, according to a
Justice Ministry official. Police said the cocaine was in
fact destined for European distribution through Belgium.

2. The seizure was the result of an investigation into a
Spanish cell of the Wilmer Varela North Valley Colombian
Cartel that involved DEA offices in Spain, Belgium, and the
Netherlands and law enforcement agencies in the same
countries. The investigation began a year ago in September
2004.

2. COMMENT: The seizure demonstrates the ability of DEA and
the Dutch law enforcement to disrupt a major international
cocaine organization through solid cooperation, and provides
a concrete example of what the Dutch are doing right. Post
recommends we highlight this unprecedented seizure when
discussing Dutch counter-narcotics cooperation.
BLAKEMAN

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