BERLIN, Germany -- The German customs has reported an increase in the number of drug smugglers from Curacao after 22 people were arrested in the first three months of 2014, according to a report by Caribbean Network.
The 22 arrested were smuggling more than 20 kilos of drugs through the direct weekly Air Berlin flight from Hato Airport to Dusseldorf.
In 2013, there were 63 drug traffickers from Curacao in total held at the Düsseldorf Airport. They had a total of about 84 kilos of drugs on them, according to the German customs in Essen.
Since the launch of direct flights between Curacao and Düsseldorf in November 2011, about 160 people ended up in a German prison and 46 of them are still in custody. There is an average of three to six months between arrest and trial.
The German customs saw both an increase in the number of drug mules as the number of people that carry drugs in their luggage trying to smuggle drugs to Europe. The sentence for drug smuggling Germany is between 3 and 4.5 years.
There is no 100% inspection in Germany as is the case in Schiphol, in the Netherlands. However, there are large-scale inspections where passengers are observed. In case of suspected drug use or unusual behaviour, there is an on-site drug testing conducted in which samples are taken from skin, clothing or luggage. Also, there are drug-sniffing dogs.
The German customs has close contact with both the authorities in Curacao, the military police and customs in Schiphol to fight drug smuggling.
Republished with permission of the Curacao Chronicle