Customs authorities in Hamburg and Antwerp have seized a record haul of more than 23 tonnes of cocaine destined for the Netherlands in two raids this month, Dutch prosecutors said.
The two shipments together represented a street value of roughly €600m, the prosecutors said, making it the biggest catch of cocaine headed for the Netherlands ever.
Prosecutors said a 28-year-old Dutchman, who was arrested today, was registered as the recipient of the containers in which the drugs were found.
In Hamburg, Germany, 16.2 tonnes of cocaine was found in more than 1,700 tins of wall filler, which had arrived on a container ship from Paraguay.
In the Belgian port of Antwerp, around 7.2 tonnes of the drugs were found hidden in a container filled with wood blocks, which had been shipped from Panama.
Yesterday, Dutch customs officers announced the largest heroin haul ever found in one seizure in the Netherlands, with more than 1,500kg of heroin discovered in the port of Rotterdam.
"The enormous amount of cocaine would have brought in several billion euros (dollars) in street sales," said the Hamburg customs office in a statement about the import that was discovered on 12 February.
A 28-year-old man was arrested yesterday in the Netherlands in connection with the haul, it added.