A drug incinerator in Antwerp:
“We are urgently looking for additional incineration capacity,” Vincent Van Quickenborne, Belgium’s justice minister, said.
“The storage of the batches of seized cocaine is the responsibility of the customs service. These batches are of course closely monitored by police, customs and other services.
“They do everything necessary to limit the security risk. However, there has been something of a bottleneck as there have been so many seizures and also because just one incinerator was in use.”
In 2021, Belgian customs officers seized nearly 90 tonnes of cocaine being smuggled through the port of Antwerp, which has become the gateway for illicit imports into Europe.
The country is expected to surpass the amount of cocaine seized in its ports last year – a record-breaking period.
This year the seizure figure is on track to be more than 100 tonnes, cocaine worth about €5 billion (£4.3 billion) on the street.
It wouldn’t be so much the profit to be made from the work. It would be being able to stand there and burn money in that manner.