An unusual delivery of live fish caught the attention of Amsterdam police hook, line, and sinker. Investigating officers found the aquatic animals swimming around hidden compartments filled with liquid cocaine.
It started on Sept. 4 when police officers on stakeout witnessed dozens of boxes being loaded into vans at Schiphol airport. The delivery vehicles left a holding area for animal cargo and traveled to a storage facility in Amsterdam where the boxes were offloaded, police said.
That’s when authorities intervened, detaining several people as part of an ongoing investigation.
“When the police open the seized boxes, they were surprised to find large plastic bags filled with water and live fish. At the bottom of the bags of live fish were sealed compartments with a fluid the forensic team later determined to be liquid cocaine,” police said in a statement.
The announcement was made over three weeks after the incident took place. Four of at least five people arrested were still in custody on Friday. Among those held were a woman, 61, and two men, 60 and 43, from Beverwijk, a 31-year-old man from Alkmaar, and a Diemen man, aged 46. All three cities are in Noord-Holland.
“Following the find, the police carried out a follow-up investigation in which several homes were searched in Alkmaar, Beverwijk and Diemen where, among other things, drugs, cutting agents, a firearm and mobile telephones were found. Several suspects were arrested in different places in the country,” police added.
The investigation was still ongoing on Friday, and more arrests were said to be possible.