Baby formula crime wave sweeping Netherlands, especially Breda

Baby formula (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Симилак)Baby formula (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Симилак)

There is a growing number of crimes related to baby formula in the Netherlands. Breda in particular seems to be the staging ground of these crimes, with at least three baby formula traders being robbed this year. The police believe that there are more victims who are afraid to report the crimes.

This is according to Monday night's broadcast of detection program Bureau Brabant, NU reports. The same information will be broadcast on Opsporing Verzocth on Tuesday.

Dutch baby formula is in high demand in China. In 2008 about 300 thousand Chinese babies became ill, and some even died, because the harmful substance melamine was added to a local brand of baby formula, presumably to make the protein content seem higher. The Chinese still have not regained confidence in their local formula. A large tin of Dutch baby formula can easily be sold for more than 10 euros.

According to the broadcast, these criminals often use the same method. Traders are contacted by someone they know, who offers to sell a batch of baby formula. At the appointment, the traders are robbed of their money. These deals are usually done in cash and may involve significant amounts.

In early February, traders had an appointment to meet someone on Wenzel Cobergherstraat in Breda. The traders brought cash to buy 900 tins of baby formula to then sell to China. Instead of the deal going through as expected, the traders were ambushed by three men, who took their money and fled.

The perpetrators often threaten their victims. The police believe that there are victims who have not reported such crimes because they fear for their lives.