HAGUE  – Police arrested 45 suspects Friday during an international operation against a drug-trafficking network from Brazil into Europe, Europol said Friday.

“This international sting, led by the Portuguese, Belgian and Brazilian authorities, was carried out simultaneously by agencies from three different continents, with coordination efforts facilitated by Europol,” EU’s police agency said in a statement.

The network imported at least 45 tonnes of cocaine into main European seaports, with profits exceeding €100 million ($120 million) in the course of six months, the statement said.

A total of 180 houses were raided.

“Over €12 million [$14 million] in cash in Portugal, €300,000 [359,000] in cash seized in Belgium and over R$1 million [$187,000] and US$169 000 in cash seized in Brazil,” as well as 70 luxury vehicles were seized, it said.

In addition, financial assets of 10 individuals were frozen in Spain.

The EU noted the operation is the “biggest ever crackdown” against a drug ring smuggling cocaine from Brazil into Europe.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan

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