€40m in weed seized in north provinces
In the northern provinces of the Netherlands, 675 marijuana farms have been seized in 2013.
The worth on the street of the amount of weed taken off the market is almost €40 million. This amounts to circa 9.7 million spliffs.
Criminally-acquired capital has been seized during various marijuana investigations as well. In July 2013, a weed farm was discovered in De Kiel. The bust also included 86 cars worth around €800,000.
In 2013, around 400 people were apprehended in relation to marijuana cultivation. Next to the fact that the cultivation and trade of weed is illegal, farms are also a fire hazard and cause odor- and water nuisance. In 2013 in the northern provinces, at least 11 farms were discovered after a fire, and seven times after water damage.
Besides this, weed is usually tied to organized crime. Organized criminals often whitewash money using legitimate businesses, or invest the gains in other criminal activities such as the trade in weapons and women. Citizens, government, businesses and insurers are the victims.
This is the reason police has seriously cracked down on the drug world, mainly the marijuana cultivation farms. In 2013, €14 million worth of plants and devices were seized during the dismantling of weed farms. Also valuable items are seized as these may have been bought with dirty money.
In 2013, the police regularly investigated incidents of violence in Noord-Nederland which seemed to be drug-related. There have also been 1,186 reports of marijuana activity in the northern provinces last year.
Emphasis is placed on the 'brains' behind the system. The police is doing more background investigating to figure out the networks behind the farms. Dozens of police employees have been trained or specially installed to gain more insight into criminal networks. The focus lies more and more on the gathering and analysis of information.
Police is heavily focused on dismantling the drug world using well-researched tactics, aid from various organizations, such as Customs and the Royal Military Police, and a structured approach.