Most meth makers "incompetent": Ex-Dealer

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Drugs criminality is almost overwhelming the police and the Department of Justice in the Netherlands, yet some ex-dealers are saying that most of the criminals they are pursuing are only amateurs. One convicted xtc-producer is even surprised that there aren't more deaths. 

National public prosecutor Neeltje Geldermans believes that the authorities may not be able to curb the growth and production of drugs in this country, it's like emptying the ocean with a thimble.

The Algemeen Dagblad newspaper spoke with a convicted drugs criminal who was arrested for his role in organizing the production of synthetic drugs, and selling the product worldwide. 'Paul' got a sentence of four to five years and speaks about the dangers in a drugs lab.

In 2013, 44 drug labs were dismantled in the Netherlands. This is a steep climb compared to 29 in 2012 and 24 the year before. This might just be the tip of the iceberg. Drug waste dumping actions amounted to 26 in January alone. In 2013 there were 150.

On monday the 28th of April, two bodies were discovered in a business premises in Uden. The men were wearing masks, and police discovered chemicals for the production of synthetic drugs. Police are still investigating the cause of death.

Paul believes that these were amateurs who made some mistakes. "They may have mixed the wrong chemicals to make PMK or BMK. It could be that they were cheated. That they were wrong in the assumption that it was substance A while it was substance C. That led to a chemical reaction. It is also possible that the masks weren't good."

Paul and a co-suspect 'Willem' say that it's a wonder there aren't more deaths in the industry. "You're either a specialist with a background as chemist, or you're an amateur who has learnt the art. You can be sure that 98 percent of the producers are useless. I, and another three or four belong to the 2 percent who can really do it", says sexagenarian Willem.

The dangers in a lab could be missed by amateurs. "There is danger of explosion because you need hydrogen in the production of MDMA for example. That is very flammable and explosive. With a leak in your chemical alignment it can go very wrong."

Willem says that amateurs aren't able to see warning signs before something goes wrong either. A thorough knowledge of the behavior of chemicals and production process is crucial to avoid rookie mistakes.

The process of making drugs should also never be done in one place, Paul explains. Putting all your eggs in one basket is dangerous. Labs are often discovered by area residents who see white smoke rising. This smoke is actually vapor sometimes caused by the combination of hydrochloric acid and APAAN in the production of amphetamines. Producers think something's wrong and run away, then the residents think it's fire and call the emergency services.