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Belgium’s customs officials have been incredibly busy seizing cocaine. In fact, so busy that it’s causing a backlog and the country’s incinerators can’t keep up with the demand.

Local reports suggest that the police are now concerned that the stockpile that’s waiting to be incinerated could be a huge target for criminals.

The backlog amounts to billions of dollars of cocaine and it’s currently being stored in warehouses to be transported to the incinerator.

By the end of the year, Antwerp’s port is expected to have seized 110 tons of cocaine. According to the Brussels Times, the cocaine being stored has a street value of at least $5.1 billion.

Antwerp prosecutor Franky De Keyser has raised the issue with the country’s Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne who responded that the seized drugs are “closely monitored” and that it’s difficult to burn them in bulk “as this would cause issues with the filters and the incineration plant”.

Business Insider reports that the port of Antwerp, Europe’s second-biggest port – in recent years has become the continent’s largest entry point for cocaine. In a 2021 report, the United Nations said Antwerp was one of the ports forming the “epicentre” of Europe’s cocaine market.

Image credit: European CEO

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