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Claims that the Dutch container gateway of Rotterdam has become a hub for European imports of cocaine and other illicit drugs will come as no surprise to anyone who works in the sector. But how it actually works in practice, with gangs of so-called collectors climbing over the port’s box terminals’ fences and breaking into containers holding contraband, is vividly described in this in-depth BBC report. It also details the repercussions of the trade on genuine port workers, customs officials and police officers trying to stem the flood of drugs and surging violence levels. “Today, the collectors will leave quietly. But it’s going to be grim when they will use anything to try and get away – weapons, knives… You don’t want some sort of wild west show going on in your terminal.”

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