On Tuesday morning, 19 February, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (KMar) detained two employees working at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The men, aged 33 and 44, probably worked together with several other suspects in the secured area of the airport.
In a press release, the KMar explains: “These detentions are part of a criminal investigation initiated in August 2017 by a Criminal Investigation Team of the KMar (Team Zware Criminaliteit van de Koninklijke Marechaussee). Under the direction of the Public Prosecution Service Noord-Holland, research was carried out into a criminal partnership that dealt with large-scale imports of narcotics through Schiphol Airport.
During this investigation several Schiphol employees, working in the baggage basement, catering and cleaning, came into the picture as suspects. These suspects were in the possession of airport badges and could enter the secured areas of the airport. As a result, they had access to locations where few people were allowed to enter, such as the baggage handling area.”
During the criminal investigation it became clear that the drug cartel could easily place suitcases with heroin and cocaine on board aircraft that departed from Africa and South America. These suitcases were placed secretly, unregistered and unscreened (*) on board through the intervention of staff from these airports. On arrival in the Netherlands, baggage handlers removed the suitcases from the baggage system as quickly as possible and passed them on to the catering or cleaning staff. The suitcases were then handed over to a woman in Almere who was in contact with the criminal organization in Africa.
(*) note from editor
Previous arrests and seizures
Last year, the Marechaussee arrested 12 people, 9 of them worked at Schiphol. They have been released and will soon have to appear in court. During previous actions, the Marechaussee discovered more than 100 kg of heroin and cocaine. During home searches, more than €100,000 cash and goods were confiscated. There is also a study of properties abroad. Future multiple arrests are not excluded.