Once better known for its cobbled old town and diamond district, Antwerp now labours under the unwanted label of Europe’s cocaine capital.
So much of the so-called white gold was seized at the container port last year that a vast “cocaine-berg” built up, with incinerators unable to burn the drug quick enough.
Cocaine is cheaper and more readily available than it has ever been before in Europe.
With so much of it flowing through the port, Antwerp is experiencing outbreaks of bloodshed and mayhem as warring narco gangs fight to control the market.
Over the past five years there have been 200 incidents of drug-related violence, including threats, beatings and planted explosive devices.
This month an 11-year-old girl died in Antwerp after being caught in the crossfire of a suspected drugs feud.
While 25 miles across the Dutch border from central Antwerp, police uncovered a sound-proofed torture chamber built by narcos.
The Sun's Chief Feature Writer, Oliver Harvey, went to Belgium to find out why the port city of Antwerp is now Europe's cocaine smuggling capital.
Read more: www.thesun.co.uk/news/21191610/antwerp-europe-cocaine-capital-drugs/
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