This Monday, as part of an investigation started more than two years ago in the Albanian criminal milieu linked to the trafficking of cocaine and cannabis, the Federal Judicial Police (PJF) of Liège carried out a large-scale operation involving more of 160 police officers.
This operation was carried out with the support of the special units of the federal police, the PJFs of Luxembourg and Charleroi, the police zones of Ans/St Nicolas, Grâce-Hollogne/Awans, Famenne-Ardennes, federal units of the general management of the administrative police (canine support and security management/DAS) and the services of the Coordinating Director of Liège.
Thus, 21 searches were carried out in Liège, Seraing, Saint-Nicolas, Grâce-Hollogne, Jemeppe, Verviers, Marche-en-Famenne, Houffalize and Morlanwelz and 18 people were arrested.
”The operation confirmed the existence of a well-organized traffic in cocaine and cannabis over a period of at least four years. The organization, which used Sky ECC encrypted mobile phones until March 2021, continued its activities throughout the greater Liège conurbation and in Luxembourg (Marche-en-Famenne, Houffalize)”, we explain to the Liège prosecutor’s office.
The suspects apparently stocked up in Antwerp and the Netherlands by the kilograms of cocaine. “Numerous concrete elements relating to the criminal activities of the organization and of the suspects were able to be discovered during the intervention”.
Thus, still according to the Liège public prosecutor’s office, the searches notably led to the seizure of a loaf of 800 gr of cocaine and cutting products being packaged in a cache serving as a “workshop” for the suspects.
33 cars, cash and false papers
In the process, the investigators got their hands on dozens of cocaine pellets distributed in different addresses but also in caches fitted out in several vehicles (headlights, glove boxes, headrests, etc.). Equipment for the packaging and sale of cocaine (scales, sachets for doses, vacuum packing machine, press, etc.) was also seized.
And that’s not all since the police discovered, in Verviers, a cannabis plantation with a capacity of around 600 plants, as well as equipment and waste from plantations in Houffalize and Jemeppe.
33 vehicles still to be valued but of which a dozen were used or in the name of suspects were seized. Their value is estimated at €300,000. and, to talk about money, the police got their hands on wads of notes for an amount of more than €30,000. Assets were also seized from accounts for nearly €70,000.
Finally, a Rolex watch, flat screen televisions, luxury goods (Vuitton leather goods, etc.) were found, as well as false Italian and Slovenian documents.
After hearings by the investigators, five suspects were placed under arrest warrant for drug trafficking and participation in a criminal organization. Six other suspects will be presented on Tuesday to the investigating magistrate with a view to a possible placement under arrest warrant. Six people were also illegally residing in Belgium.