Flanders, the heart of the drug trade

File:Narcotics growing areas and trafficking routes, 1993 - (world map). LOC 2010585496.jpg

An investigation by the “Investigative Reporting Project Italy” (IRPI), Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Investigace, Heut Nieuwsblad and Aktuality – reveals how Colombia, Calabria (a region in Southern Italy), and Slovakia are united by a single red thread from Flanders, through Belgium and the Netherlands.

When the journalist Jan Kuciak, working for the Slovakian journal Aktuality, was assassinated last February 21, he was part of an international team of reporters that was reconstructing the events around the murder of Italian Silvio Aquino on August 27, 2015, in Opglabbeek (Belgium). Aquino was murdered when driving in a car with his Slovak wife, Sivlia Liskova, after just having left the family villa in Maasmechelen (Belgium). The three assassins did not kill his wife, who managed to flee away during the attack. Until the assassination and the arrestation of two of his brothers, the Aquino family was one of the most powerful families in narcotrafficking.

Kuciak tried to understand how the narcos were recycled in his country, Slovakia. After his disappearance, the reporter team, coordinated by the OCCRP and founded by the research journalists of IRPI, Investigace and Heut Nieusblad, continued to work at the investigation.

For the more information please click here [Eng], here [It], or here [Sl]