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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Europol & DEA Report Outlines Mexican Cartels Working with European Criminal Groups

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

Cocaine and methamphetamine are linked to Mexican criminal groups emerging in the EU while rising violence and the appearance of fentanyl are potential future threats.

Europol and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a joint analysis report shedding light on the involvement of Mexican criminal actors in the EU drug market. The report shows that Mexican cartels and EU-based criminal networks have been working together to traffic both methamphetamine and cocaine from Latin America to the EU. This new form of criminal collaboration also extends to the production of methamphetamine and cocaine hydrochloride in some EU Member States. Despite no current indications of a fentanyl market in the EU, the discovery of fentanyl production facilities and seizures of the substance in the EU raises concerns over the development of a fentanyl market.

As the first joint publication of this kind, the report emphasizes the hand-in-glove approach between the agencies in the joint fight against global drug trafficking. Titled 'Complexities and conveniences in the international drug trade: the involvement of Mexican criminal actors in the EU drug market', the publication is a result of a systematic and continuous exchange of operational and strategic information.


Complexities and Conveniences in the International Drug Trade: the Involvement of Mexican Criminal Actors in the EU Drug Market

The EU drug landscape is populated by a diverse range of criminal actors involved in the production, trafficking, and distribution of a variety of illicit substances. These actors benefit from a number of criminal enablers and facilitators in their operations. In recent years, seizures of methamphetamine and cocaine linked to Mexican criminal actors have emerged as a prominent feature of the EU drug landscape. Mexican criminal actors and EU-based criminal networks have been working together to traffic both of these illicit drug types from Latin America to the EU. They have also been cooperating to produce methamphetamine and cocaine hydrochloride (HCl) in some EU Member States (EU MS). 


The trafficking network includes the cooks producing the drugs, brokers, and envoys facilitating its distribution, and logistics for smuggling and money laundering services.


COOKS
Mexican criminal actors engaged in the production of methamphetamine at illicit production facilities or working independently with EU-based drug producers. 

INTERMEDIARIES 
Criminal facilitators are responsible for drug purchases, transportation, and logistics. 

BROKERS
Criminal facilitators based in the EU, North and Latin America, or other regions of the world connect Mexican drug suppliers with wholesale distributors in the EU. 

ENVOYS
Members of cartels who travel to the EU to facilitate drug transactions from Mexico to EU MS. 

MONEY LAUNDERING SERVICE PROVIDERS
Criminal service providers based in and outside of the EU who provide illicit financial services to Mexican cartels, repatriating millions of Euros in drug proceeds to Mexico. 

In the United States, the influence of Mexican cartels over the drug trade is deeply entrenched; they are heavily involved in trafficking fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and cannabis. 

The Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) – the most violent and powerful Mexican criminal organizations – consolidated control over drug corridors from Mexico and expanded their activities within the US. Mexican cartels have a history of establishing drug trafficking hubs, strong criminal partnerships, and using violence to gain control over the territory where they operate.

In the first initiative of this kind, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Europol engaged in transatlantic cooperation to issue a joint strategic product with the aim of expanding the intelligence picture on the involvement of Mexican criminal actors in the EU drug market. Mexican cartels are known to cooperate with EU-based criminal networks to traffic both methamphetamine and cocaine to EU ports for further distribution in and outside of EU MS. Recent seizures of methamphetamine trafficked from Mexico to the EU include the interception of 2.5 tonnes of methamphetamine in Spain in 2021, 1.5 tonnes of methamphetamine trafficked through Croatia to Slovakia in 2020 and 1.9 tonnes of methamphetamine seized in Rotterdam in 2019. 

It is likely that most of the methamphetamine trafficked from Mexico to the EU only transits the EU on the way to more profitable markets in Oceania and Asia given the higher wholesale and retail prices of methamphetamine in those regions.

In addition to the trafficking of methamphetamine, Mexican cartels are also involved in smuggling large consignments of cocaine to the EU. In February 2020, Italian law enforcement authorities uncovered a drug trafficking operation run by the Sinaloa Cartel, where cartel members and their EU-based associates were trafficking drugs into and throughout the EU. 

For this operation, in particular, the cartel was planning to establish cocaine smuggling routes from Colombia to airports in southern Italy using private jets. Another law enforcement operation, which concluded in 2021, revealed that a criminal network based in Spain worked with the Beltr√°n Leyva Organization.

METHAMPHETAMINE & COCAINE TRAFFICKING TO THE EU

THE LOGISTICS


Complexities and conveniences in the international drug trade: the involvement of Mexican criminal actors in the EU drug market Europol-DEA public document Organisation to traffic 1.3 metric tons of cocaine and 2.5 metric tons of methamphetamine to Spain, concealed in blocks of cellular thermal concrete.

Working together with their EU counterparts, Mexican cartels generally use maritime shipments and air cargo for smuggling larger quantities of drugs from Latin America to the EU. Concealment within legal commodities is the most frequently used method to smuggle large drug consignments. Most often, drugs are concealed in food, construction materials, and equipment as well as other commodities, such as water filters and wooden doorframes. Once the drugs are received at EU entry points, local criminal networks cooperating with the Mexican cartels are responsible for moving the drug loads to their final destinations. Ferries and overland transportation via vehicles with hidden compartments and tractor-trailers are most common. For smaller, retail amounts, post and parcel services are also used for smuggling drugs from Mexico to EU MS. 

On numerous occasions, Mexican criminal actors have been apprehended at methamphetamine production sites in the EU:

 In 2019, Dutch Police dismantled three illicit methamphetamine manufacturing laboratories in which Mexican and other Latin American suspects were apprehended. Mexican criminal involvement was also suspected in two other cases that year. 

In 2019, the Federal Police in Belgium dismantled one illicit methamphetamine laboratory in which three Mexican suspects and a Colombian suspect were apprehended. 

In 2020, Dutch law enforcement reported nine additional dismantled methamphetamine production facilities in which Mexican, Colombian and Dominican nationals were arrested.

METHAMPHETAMINE PRODUCTION & COCAINE CONVERSION LABORATORIES

THE ACTORS & THEIR METHODS 


Mexican laboratory specialists operating in the EU use unique production methods and are involved in particular stages of methamphetamine production. By using specific chemical substances, they are able to recycle and reduce chemical waste generated during the production cycle, ultimately achieving increased profits and higher yields of a very potent end product. These Mexican “cooks” are important for the EU-based methamphetamine production sites because of their unique knowledge and ability to produce larger and more profitable crystals of methamphetamine. 

While the direct affiliation of Mexican suspects apprehended at methamphetamine manufacturing sites to specific Mexican criminal groups is not always clear, some cases point to links with Mexican cartels. In the case of joint methamphetamine manufacturing with Dutch drug producers, the leadership of Dutch and Mexican cartels allegedly arrange Mexican laboratory technicians for the Dutch production facilities by either commissioning Mexican “cooks” who are already in the EU or by arranging their travel to the EU from Latin America.

In some other cases, it may be that Dutch criminal networks approach Mexican lab technicians independently. These lab technicians work as freelancers and may be connected with Dutch criminal networks through brokers. Some indications have pointed to Mexican criminal groups being involved in the operation of cocaine conversion laboratories on the territory of the EU.

In order to facilitate their drug trafficking operations and ensure that they remain under the radar of law enforcement, Mexican criminal groups and their EU-based criminal partners turn to a series of enablers. Both Mexican cartels and EU-based drug trafficking networks corrupt officials in the public and private sectors to increase the likelihood of successfully smuggling drug consignments through transportation hubs in both Latin America and the EU. Legal business structures are exploited in drug trafficking operations, both in cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking from Latin America to the EU. Companies enable the smuggling of drugs to EU MS and obscure trafficking from law enforcement.

CORRUPTING INFLUENCE, INFILTRATION & PARALLEL FINANCIAL SYSTEM 


EU-based traffickers and Mexican cartels infiltrate existing businesses and set up new front or shell companies, at times with the help of individuals (strawmen) who knowingly or unknowingly conceal a criminal’s true identity. In order to protect their equities and avoid detection from law enforcement, drug traffickers frequently infiltrate and execute their criminal operations using multiple companies, which further obfuscates their illicit activities. Drug traffickers infiltrate transportation and trade companies in order to conceal drug shipments via air cargo, maritime vessels, or over land using vehicles and tractor-trailers. Mexican cartels involved in drug trafficking to and in the EU use illicit financial services provided by criminal service providers based in and outside of the EU, repatriating millions of Euros in drug proceeds to Mexico.

Money launderers servicing Mexican cartels use a variety of techniques for the facilitation of illicit finances, including the use of cryptocurrencies, trade-based money laundering, and underground banking systems.

Drug proceeds obtained are also laundered through the criminal infiltration of companies, where illicit funds are moved through a range of different jurisdictions. Cooperation between Mexican criminal actors and EU-based criminal networks may continue to develop. Such cooperation may take the form of Mexican drug producers sharing expertise with their EU-based counterparts, supporting the establishment of EU-based production laboratories, and reinvesting drug proceeds obtained from the EU methamphetamine and cocaine trade into new, profitable criminal opportunities. Additionally, Mexican cartels may attempt to set up methamphetamine production laboratories and cocaine extraction sites outside of the traditional manufacturing sites in the EU. 

Mexican criminal groups may also attempt to broaden the portfolio of drugs trafficked to the EU by either trafficking them to the EU drug market or by assisting in the production of those drugs, like fentanyl, in the EU. The discovery of fentanyl production facilities and fentanyl analogs in the EU, together with some seizures of fentanyl and related precursors in some EU MS, raises concerns over the development of a fentanyl market. However, there are currently no concrete indications that Mexican cartels are cooperating with EU-based criminal networks to traffic or produce fentanyl for the EU consumer market. 

OUTLOOK

JOINT EFFORTS ON ALL SIDES


The EU’s most recent Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment showed that 65% of criminal groups active in the EU are composed of members of multiple nationalities. The presence of Mexican criminal actors collaborating with EU-based actors in the EU drug market follows this trend.

An increased presence of Mexican cartels in the EU could result in increased violence and increased profits for Mexican cartels and the EU-based criminal networks working with them. Europol and the DEA will continue to monitor and share information on the involvement of Mexican criminal actors in the methamphetamine and cocaine markets in the EU, as well as any warning signs that may point to additional drug trafficking or other illicit activities.

The DEA and Europol will continue to act in concert in monitoring and fighting these developments.


52 comments:

  1. Do the Mexican Cartels deal directly with American Criminal groups like the Italian Mafia ,Russian Mafia , Black gangs (Blood Crips) Biker gangs and Mexican gangs?

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    1. Yes for the last 3

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    2. That deal with anybody not Mexican.the Gringos hold the keys and the money. Blanco=dinero

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    3. It's not the gringos but anybody within the USA. Doing business directly with the gringos is frowned upon unless they've been vetted as suspicion is immediately aroused.

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    4. Hell ya. Especially in Chicago like the gangsters disciples. And obviously the Mexican Mafia is an American gang.

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    5. You have the east coast , west coast, and a Midwest racket. 3 top dogs ūüźē and everyone else under them are broke down like military ranks and thousands of little clicks all over the USA selling and using the shit. The governor and senators in each state get a kick back that’s been washed through the private prisons and judicial systems. At the very top the “ big guy “ gets paid. His son has troubles over emails from Ukraine. Something about his dad being VP of the USA at the time and having a direct line to China without any records of conversations. The big guy was getting the big money from China as well. Also Eric holder was doing the fast and furious gun / drug trade at the same time ūü§¶‍♂️ūüƨ️

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    6. 8:13 are you going to impeach Hunter, or sompim'?
      It has been like 10 years of bitching about his laptop and what kind of chones he wears,
      but not even one lawsuit...

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  2. I can see Mexicans getting a good foot hold in the Meth business in Europe but cocaine would be a lost cause. They could never compete with Colombians cost per kilo and most major crime groups in Europe go direct to get cocaine.

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    1. Colombians provide the cocaine to mexican cartels so theres no way they'll take over that market

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    2. 06:24 absolutely. Cocaine is from Colombia and meth is from China.

      Mexico doesn’t make P2P Methylamine or Ephedrine precursor chemicals nor do they have advanced chemical laboratories or fundamental knowledge of chemistry.

      This article is 100% bullshit, but I am sure there are meth heads from Mexico trying to cook fentanyl in the EU.

      EU has better chemistry than Mexico and is closer to China and Indian chemical suppliers making it cheaper to manufacture the drugs in EU not Mexico.

      Germany already makes Meth and Holland makes Amphetamine and MDMA

      Colombia makes cocaine and they trade (hence tucibi in Medellin not the USA)

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    3. Mexican cartels dont need to expand to Europe since neighbors up north are the biggest druggies

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    4. 7:51 you are right.It is also logical that the best Walther Whites come from Europe or Asia. You have to know your history, and don't think that chemical masterminds come from South America. The Netherlands still had a cocaine factory 100 years ago.

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    5. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nederlandsche_Coca%C3%AFnefabriek read this

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    6. 7:51, sry buth mexicans cooks are already there and teaching how to make meth. And the coke comes from south and central america to europe but this doesnt mean that mexicans arent involved (you remember jaliscas selling huge) ve seen some cdn/zetas guys in poland a few years back. Spain is full of mexicans and columbians. Italy and eastern europe too.
      And meth isnt from china, the chems are from india nowadays, cooked in mexico. And your statement about not having qualified chemists, turn on any us tv station and check the weekly ODs. Thats how good mx chemists are, gringos rather die than stopping the shit.
      Saludos

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    7. And selling to europe makes much more sense, jails are like kindergarden, long term means 10 years and not 100. No pressure from the pinche gringos. Much higher prices, US is jump change compared. See also price of cocain in australia. And making cocain in europe makes can make sense as well.

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    8. Idk guys … it is well documented that Mexican cartels have for years established themselves in Colombia and have been owning coca plantations out right. Someone fact check me please!

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    9. 9:59 have you been to Colombia ? do you know the history there? I am sorry to inform you Mexican cartels are buyers of cocaine no more no less. Thats like saying the Colombians are going to take over Mexico complete and absolutely ridiculus

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    10. @10.35. To be fair Mexicans ARE more than just buyers. In some areas Mexicans linked to CDS and CJNG have almost complete control of the product, almost as soon as it leaves the field, and they fund the laboratories. In some places the local cartel representative has more power than the local Colombian boss. Its still a joint enterprise, but the days when you could neatly separate the Colombian ''growers'' from the Mexican ''buyers'' is long gone.

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    11. 1:37 to be fair your delusional

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    12. 10:35 Uh The Mexicans are more than just buyers in Colombia. I’m guessing you haven’t researched the topic lately because they control a lot there now and have apparently displaced tens of thousands of people just in the first two months of 2021 alone.

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    13. 1:59 You seem like someone who doesn’t know how to use google..

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    14. No I spend a lot of time in Colombia and have family throughout the country 12:54

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    15. 12:01
      https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/mexican-narcotrafficking-cartels-expand-their-control-in-colombia/#.Yb5QthPMJUM

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    16. 3:58 I don't need to see these articles the Colombian cocaine trade is dominated by Colombians how hard is that to figure out. Mexican cartels are not super hero's. Never once have I heard of Mexican cartels dominating any coca growing region from anybody who lives there.

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    17. 4:17 Because you haven’t even looked. These are facts, not opinions and it’s fairly new.

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    18. 7:15 70 years of fighting the Colombian government and the big bad Mexican cartels just gonna role in and take over sure thing.

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    19. 7:12 No one said “take over”

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    20. Coca~Cola owned their Coca plantations in southAmerica,
      they never sell their properties, guess they stopped farming coca?

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  3. Yeah read that Article about de Nederlandsche Coca√Įnefabriek on wikipedia

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  4. I thought the sinaloans only trafficked in North America like some dingle berry said on here not to long ago lol

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    1. 9:33 of course CDS traffics to Europe they just dont have a monopoly like in the US. They will never be the big players because the big players been doing it for 50 years and have all the doors in the ports. which sinaloa would be paying to use

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    2. @ 10:39 50 years?..hundreds of years!opium, cocaine, etc., is new to South America. In Europe, and especially the Netherlands and Germany, masters are in cooking, money laundering, strategy (Italy). Cartels have sprung up in South America since the 1970s and 1980s. But then you already had a lot of cartels in Europe and Asia because that's where the cradle is.

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    3. Bro you did not really think that. Sinaloa is known for its worldwide connections quit trolling

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  5. 9:51 So you think the master chefs come from South America with knowledge of process technology?!?.. You watch too much Netflix.. the real masters come from Europe!Europeans and Asians have owned it for hundreds of years.. Dive into the history books once and only then can you talk amigo.

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  6. @11.20- ''Cartels have sprung up in South America since the 1970s and 1980s''?
    There are headlines talking about ''Cartels flooding the streets with poison'' from as far back as 1908. And Chinese were growing poppy in Mexico as early as the 1880s. There was a campaign in the Mexican media about the ''Chinese Mafia'' and their opium dens 100 years ago. There is no ''cradle'' in Europe, unless you mean the Godfather trilogy.

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    1. @9:51 Hahaha you are a joker!

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    2. @9:51 So you're assuming methamphetamine is a Mexican product like tortilla chips or empanadas? The only thing you know i think is America,Russia and China and with an extra brain cell Australia and if you have an extra brain cell you will end up in Europe, the continent that speaks Spanish, English, Dutch and French.That is where the cradle of chemical geniuses lies.

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    3. Dude i am Dutch..my father owns the Bulldog coffeeshops in Amsterdam I come from a family that has been buying tea from China for centuries. There are paintings, weapons, everything VOC hanging on it. So we as Dutch people were the first to know what opium, coffee, tea, nutmeg, pepper and salt was and that it had a nice price tag attached to it. Because of that we got war with England and with the French.

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    4. Na bro. Medellin Cartel was the first real drug cartel. Don’t come at us with this “1908” BS. Everything before the late 1970s was a joke compared to what it became then and currently.

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    5. 3:07 what do you mean Dutch were the first to know what opium was? Wasn’t opium (like cannabis) used since Neolithic times? And if not then definitely in the ancient Greco-Roman world.

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    6. @3.45. Medellin was the first drug ''cartel''? Unless you have an extremely narrow definition of the word, that just isn't true. Its a vague and misused term, repeated like a mantra to the media during the Pablo and Cali era by the DEA to make traffickers easier to prosecute by placing them all under one imaginary umbrella. I'm talking about an organised smuggling operation that had control of the product from the field to the border. You think Pablo was the first? As I said, there were media panics in Mexico and the states about ''drug cartels'' going back to the start of the 20th century. They just haven't been covered by Netflix.

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    7. 1:02 Yes Pablo was the first. Do you even know what the word ‘cartel’ means

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    8. German nazi rat line escapee klaus Barbie developed the cocaine industry for Henry Kissinger and co. along with totalitarian dictatorships in bolivia, uruguay, Paraguay, argentina, chile, colombia, trained their police and cartel ilitary, recruited Pablo Escobar and Carlos Lehder, since the late 40s, felix ismael rodriguez was still in grade school lending his nalgas to his school friends.
      Then the US sold his ass and eichmann's to the MOSSAD that took over operation cocaine uber alls with counsiglieri Kissinger still at the top.

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  7. Brits and frogs and krauts and dagos love that cocaine

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  8. Again, Japan and Germany were the first inventors and producers of the pharmaceutical drug methamphetamine.

    Fentanyl was also first produced in Europe.

    Why the fuck would European crime need El Chapo to come to Europe and show them how to cook simple and complex phenetyhlamine based molecules like substituted cathinone s, X - MDMA, meth, amphetamine, fentanyl heroin or anything for that matter. European chemical companies invented the shit Mexico is currently selling.

    The Mexicans can't even make a 90% + pure batch of fentanyl it's all mainly precursors and impurities with a little fentanyl successfully converted or synthesized and a shitload of impurity

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    1. 1:16 Lol yeah agreed they dont need CDS to show them how to cook meth. I believe holland cooks the best mdma in the world and it significantly harder to synthesize then meth

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    2. Nobody is more successful at mixing drugs with baking soda than the mexicans on the US.

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  9. The Dutch guy is very true. That's Real history

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