Cover: Drugsgerelateerde corruptie op Schiphol en in de Rotterdamse haven

Drugsgerelateerde corruptie op Schiphol en in de Rotterdamse haven

Een analyse van corruptiedreigingen, impact en beleidsinstrumenten op basis van de methodologie voor National Risk Assessment [Drug-related corruption at Schiphol Airport and the Port of Rotterdam: An analysis of corruption threats, impact and policy instruments based on the methodology for National Risk Assessment]

Published Mar 18, 2024

by Emma Zürcher, Mafalda Pardal, Iris Leussink, Stijn Hoorens

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Note: This report is in Dutch. An English-language summary is available.

Due to high-quality physical, digital and knowledge infrastructure in the Netherlands, the Dutch main ports are important hubs in the global economy and function as gateways to the European market. However, their sophisticated facilities make these main ports attractive targets for organised crime groups looking to traffic illicit substances and goods such as drugs, thereby increasing corruption risks.

In 2022, the Research and Data Centre (Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Datacentrum or WODC) commissioned RAND Europe, at the request of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, to conduct a study on drug-related corruption threats at Schiphol Airport and the Port of Rotterdam. Schiphol Airport is one of Europe's largest airports while the Port of Rotterdam is Europe's largest container and bulk port. Awareness of the risk of corruption at these main ports has increased in recent years, particularly due to reports of such cases at these main ports.

The findings of this study provide insight into the characteristics of the main ports that can make them vulnerable to corruption, the greatest risks for the main ports, the potential impact of these risks, and the existing policy instruments to prevent and counter corruption, as well as potential risks that may become relevant in the future and policy instruments that could limit these future risks. In addition, the study aimed to assess whether the methodology of national risk assessment (NRA) can make a meaningful contribution to identifying possible corruption threats at the country's two largest main ports.

Key Findings

  • Although bribery is likely the predominant corrupting mechanism in the main ports, other modi operandi are likely to be at play as well, creating a sequential process that leads to corruption.
  • For both main ports, participants indicated that workplace culture can contribute to the threat of corruption as employees who witness criminal actions are pressured not to fulfil their reporting obligations through peer pressure, an informal code of silence and/or strong social controls.
  • The study found that while steps have been taken in recent years to improve the resilience of the main ports, some vulnerabilities remain, especially with regard to public actors and actors with key positions in the supply chain. It also confirmed findings from previous studies by underscoring the potential consequences of corruption of public officials, particularly in law enforcement.
  • Whilst there are some limitations to the method, the NRA methodology provides a structured approach to risk identification and analysis using expert judgement by offering effective triggers for experts to share their opinions constructively with the group.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum [Prepared for the Dutch Research and Documentation Centre] (WODC) and conducted by RAND Europe.

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