Police bust cannabis network in Almelo; 13 arrested

Dutch police inspect a cannabis plantation in a house (Stock Photo: Politie)Dutch police inspect a cannabis plantation in a house (Stock Photo: Politie)

Thirteen people were arrested during raids against a criminal network around organized cannabis cultivation in the Nieuwstraatkwartier in Almelo on Tuesday. The police also confiscated 13 vehicles and a firearm and broke down three cannabis farms, NU.nl reports.

The police have been investigating subversive activities in the neighborhood for some time. Over the past year 18 cannabis farms were dismantled as part of this investigation. 

The arrests were made by SWAT teams early on Tuesday morning. Investigations were done in 12 homes and a number of garages and sheds. In some cases SWAT teams had to blow doors open using explosives. Sniffer dogs were also deployed to help trace cash money and drugs. The police also seized administrating and bank balances. 

Mayor Arjen Gerrtisen hopes that with today's actions, the police disabled the criminal network behind the cannabis cultivation. "Police and Public Prosecutor were able to intervene in one go, in al those places simultaneously. In this way we think we gave the network a big blow", the mayor said. "Well-meaning residents and entrepreneurs should never suffer from the criminal activities of a small group."

"You must tackle undermining activities powerfully together. And preferably all in one go like today. This is of great importance for the residents and for the quality of life", the mayor said. He added that he realizes some residents may have been startled by the police action this morning. He will send them a letter of explanation.