Europe's drug traffickers run wild through Netherlands says Europol

The Netherlands plays a major role in the production and trafficking of hard- and soft drugs across Europe. Along with Belgium, the Netherlands is one of Europe's largest producers of synthetic drugs like ecstasy and amphetamine. And the country is a major hub for trafficking in cannabis and cocaine, according to a report Europol and the European Monitoring Center for Drugs published last week.

Europeans spend about 24 billion euros on illegal drugs a year, 38 per cent of which goes towards cannabis. About 1 percent of European adults use cannabis on a daily basis. 22 million European adults used the soft drug at least once over the past year. The Netherlands stands at the center of trafficking when it comes to trafficking cannabis as a herb. When it comes to trafficking cannabis as a resin, the Netherlands is second only to Spain.

The Netherlands also forms a major hub for cocaine trafficking. According to the report, an estimated half of all the cocaine in Europe entered the EU through the port of Rotterdam. The country also serves as the spreading point for hashish from Morocco and Afghanistan and heroine from the Ukraine.

The Dutch also form an important part of drug production, especially when it comes to synthetic drugs. The vast majority of ecstasy used in the EU and the United States comes from drug laboratories in the Netherlands, mostly in Brabant and Limburg.