In a major crackdown on illegal drug production, Dutch police announced the destruction of 120 synthetic drug laboratories in the first 11 months of this year, 20 of which were specifically dedicated to the production of crystal methamphetamine.
This marks a significant increase from the previous year, where only 15 crystal lab targets were discovered during the same time period in both 2021 and 2022. The police announced major actions and even better coordination of police bodies in 2024.
Although crystal meth is not widely consumed in the Netherlands, authorities believe traffickers are using established channels, originally designed to distribute ecstasy, to smuggle the highly addictive substance into other European countries.
Police representative Andre van Rijn highlighted the growing trend of drug dealers exploiting the existing smuggling network to distribute crystal meth, noting that crystal meth's street value of €7,500 per kilogram is four times the price of ecstasy.
Crystal meth is one of the most addictive drugs in the world with dire consequences for both the mental and physical health of the user.
Limitation of raw materials
Addressing the challenges facing law enforcement, it was revealed that the Department of Justice has implemented measures to rapidly restrict access to the raw materials necessary to manufacture methamphetamine.
This strategic move aims to make it more difficult for illegal operations to obtain the necessary ingredients for drug production. Jorit van den Berg of the Netherlands Institute of Forensics emphasized the impact of these measures, stating: "They have to come up with and import new raw materials from which they themselves have to make the necessary substances for drug production." The authorities' proactive approach not only disrupts ongoing operations, but also forces traffickers to adapt and find alternative methods, contributing to an overall decline in the production and distribution of dangerous synthetic drugs.
As the Dutch authorities continue their relentless efforts to suppress the production of synthetic drugs, the closure of these laboratories is a powerful blow to the drug mafia. The ongoing fight against drug trafficking requires international cooperation and innovative strategies to address the challenge.