Additional investments in fight against international drug trafficking

The security of our logistics hubs and ‘mainports’ is being strengthened in the fight against international drug trafficking. This year, Minister of Justice and Security Yeşilgöz-Zegerius is investing an initial one-off sum of 13 million euros in the five largest logistics hubs in the Netherlands. At the same time, plans are being developed to annually invest more structural funding in further measures to prevent the abuse of our open economy by organised subversive crime and to strengthen international cooperation to counter drug trafficking.

“Drug traffickers are abusing our open economy on a large scale. The fact that we are so accessible and trade with the whole world benefits criminals too. They earn huge amounts of money from their drugs trade and will stop at nothing. This is unacceptable. Together with our ports and airports, we want to break down and destroy these criminal structures,“

says Minister Yeşilgöz.

Under the coalition agreement, this government has earmarked additional funding on an annual basis to counter organised subversive crime, amounting to a sum of 100 million euros from 2025 onwards. This is in addition to the 434 million euros of additional structural funding released for this purpose by the previous government on Budget Day at the end of last year. The House of Representatives will be informed about the broad approach being taken to tackle organised crime by the summer, at which time the specific measures to be taken to strengthen our economic infrastructure against subversion in the long term will also be announced.

Minister Yeşilgöz: 

”We are making ports and airports and the international transportation of flowers and plants less attractive to organised crime. And I am also working on an international agenda for the future. I want to strengthen our network to tackle these issues with other countries and their ports and airports because organised crime ignores boundaries and is not just a Dutch problem.”

Five major logistics hubs

This year, an initial 13 million euros from the Budget Day funds will be invested in five hubs: the Port of Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport, the North Sea Canal area, collaborating ports in Zeeland and West-Brabant, and international flower shipments. According to national partners, such as the police, the Public Prosecution Service, Customs, the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD), the Tax and Customs Administration and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, there are major issues with drug trafficking in these ‘mainports’.

  • 5.1 million euros will be made available to the Port of Rotterdam this year.
  • Schiphol Airport will receive 3.4 million euros for this year.
  • Ports in Zeeland and West-Brabant will receive 2.5 million euros for their joint plans this year.
  • 1.5 million euros will be invested in the North Sea Canal area with ports in the Amsterdam-Ijmuiden region in 2022.
  • Logistics companies handling shipments from flower auctions will receive 0.5 million euros this year for further development of their plans for a more resilient flowers sector.

This concerns one-off investments, such as for new technologies, e.g. security systems with better cameras and smarter access control systems for sites, including iris scans, voice recognition and/or face scans, which can be used in years to come. Investments will also be made in raising awareness among employees in the transport sector about the risks of subversive practices, including in terms of recognising such practices and reporting any approaches by criminals. The one-off funding this year is in preparation for the broad plan of structural funding which is still being drawn up with partners.

”We don't just want to prevent kilos of drugs entering our country through our open economy and ports, we also want to stop them finding their way to the rest of Europe and the world. That’s why I’m working on a broader plan for logistics hubs in the Netherlands and on collaboration with other countries in an international agenda for the future. Together we can avoid a ‘water bed effect’ and reduce organised crime,’’

says Yeşilgöz.