After several large-scale drug operations in recent weeks, the scenes are repeating themselves this morning, in Wallonia and the Brussels region in particular: first the intervention of specialized police officers to apprehend suspects deemed to be dangerous, then the arrival of investigators in charge. to collect the clues to enrich the file already established, and finally the intervention of the teams responsible for dismantling any drug production, processing or packaging sites that may be discovered.
Once again, the Belgian police and justice are targeting members of a criminal organization with international tentacles. This organization, partly made up of Albanian clans, is suspected of having established a vast network of drug packaging and distribution in Belgium. We are talking about trafficking in cannabis and cocaine. One of the important aspects of the investigation concerns money laundering. We are talking here of investments in the real economy in Belgium, businesses or real estate, in order to launder “dirty” money resulting from drug trafficking. Illegally acquired capital would also have gone abroad, to eastern Europe.
Drug distribution and money laundering
Forty searches were launched in the early hours of the day across the country. Among others, the municipalities of Anderlecht, Ixelles, Saint-Josse, Evere, La Louvière, Monceau-sur-Sambre, Wavre or even Antwerp are mentioned. The police arrested around 20 suspects. Weapons, cash (around 100,000 euros) and vehicles were seized. 250 police officers were mobilized this morning.
The investigations launched by the judicial police of Charleroi with an investigating judge and the federal prosecutor’s office are linked to SKY ECC, the communication network formerly used by many traffickers. The federal prosecutor’s office tells RTBF that it will communicate information on the results of the operations during the day.
Since the decryption of millions of images and messages exchanged between criminals on the allegedly sealed telephone network, searches, arrests, seizures and dismantling have followed one another all over the country. Antwerp, Limbourg, Liège, Brussels,… The pace is so strong and the investigations so numerous that the judicial police, whose officials keep pleading for a reinforcement of staff and an increase in budgets, said they were gasping for air.