Over 50 arrested in massive drug investigation

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The police arrested 55 people and searched 111 locations in the southern parts of the Netherlands in a major ongoing investigation into a network trading in synthetic drugs and cannabis on Monday.

The investigation revolves around party rental store Party King on Ambachtsweg in Best, believed to be the cover for a kind of drug trafficking market place. At this location the police found 15 kilograms of pills. They are still being investigated, but the police believe the pills are ecstasy. The municipality of Best closed the property for the period of one year.

The police also found six synthetic drug laboratories in four locations - two in Rotterdam, two in the Belgian Oud-Turnhout and one each in Eindhoven and Moergestel. A massive 15 kilograms of MDMA - good for making more than 100 thousand ecstasy pills - 20 kilos of amphetamine and 5 thousand liters of chemicals were seized.

In Eindhoven the police raided a house that contained hundreds of cannabis plants. The electricity of the house was tampered with to accommodate the illegal cultivation. Two kilos of cocaine and three kilos of cannabis were also found. Police employees described the house as a "ticking time bomb" due to the fire risk created by tampering with the house's electricity.

A total of 20 firearms were confiscated, including handguns, an Uzi and a Kalashnikov. Several stun guns, knives, brass knuckles and similar weapons were also seized. The police confiscated around 400 thousand euros, found in safes, mattresses and crawl spaces. Two Harley Davidsons, 26 cars, one truck, five scooters, two boats, a jet ski and a quad were also confiscated.

At least 5 of the arrested suspects belong to outlaw motorcycle gangs. The three prime suspects in the case were all arrested on Monday, one of them in the Czech Republic. Nine raids were carried out in Belgium as part of this operation.