”Black Eagle”: what is this cocaine trafficking which generated millions of euros?

”Black Eagle”: what is this cocaine trafficking which generated millions of euros?
”Black Eagle”: what is this cocaine trafficking which generated millions of euros?

This gives an idea of ​​the scale of this trafficking for which 40 people have been tried since April 8 in this legal case codenamed “Black Eagle”, a reference to the Albanian flag. They are in fact almost exclusively Albanian speakers as well as a few Colombian “chemists”.

Four seizures were made over the five-month period: 8, 11 and 20 kg in cars delivering abroad and 449 kg at the port of Antwerp in a shipment of bananas in which 6,689 kg of cocaine were discovered. The rest – 6,240 kg – was intended for other criminal organizations.

The investigation showed that one of the main defendants, Alfredo H., was in contact with Italian mafia groups established in Limburg. The two organizations thus shared a warehouse.

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The federal prosecutor therefore arrives at an amount of 13.42 million euros given that the organization sold its cocaine at wholesale prices at 27,500 euros per kilo.

The organization, noted the representative of the public prosecutor in her indictment, received the cocaine in different forms. When it was not hidden in banana crates, the drug could be integrated into products: coal, cement, fruit pulp.

It then had to be extracted, hence the importance of having “chemists” from Colombia. In June 2021, 7,000 liters of liquid will be discovered during a search in a garage. The liquid contained 800 kg of cocaine.

When cocaine was not hidden in crates of bananas, it could be integrated into products: coal, cement or fruit pulp.

Everyone has their own specialization

To carry out this trafficking, alongside the leaders, the criminal organization had men who carried out very specific tasks: management of warehouses, management of the “workforce”. There were “observers”, who monitored the port docks, “extractors”, who removed the cocaine from the containers when it was hidden in bags.

To this end, these men could use inflatable boats, which, in the ports of Antwerp and Ghent, went out to meet the boats. Frogmen, equipped with waterproof bags, removed the cocaine. Large ladders were sometimes used to reach containers sometimes stacked four stories high. These containers were sometimes tracked using GPS beacons while waiting for the most favorable moment to remove the drugs. The work of these “extractors” was sometimes facilitated by internal complicity in the ports.

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There were also “suppliers”, who provided premises, vehicles or canoes. There were “chemists” who washed, packaged or made the cocaine cakes. There were still “transporters” and “deliverers” who brought cocaine mainly to Germany, Spain, Italy or the Netherlands. And, at the end of the day, there were the “launderers” of the profits generated by this criminal activity.

On Thursday, the federal prosecutor will detail the role of the 40 defendants and the required sentences.

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