Sharp rise in discovered drug labs, especially in east NL

Police investigating a crystal meth lab found on a cargo boat in Moerdijk, 10 May 2019
Police investigating a crystal meth lab found on a cargo boat in Moerdijk, 10 May 2019Photo: Politie

The number of drug labs the police discovered and dismantled in the Netherlands nearly doubled in four years. In 2015, a total of 59 synthetic drug labs were dismantled. Last year there were 90, the Telegraaf reports based on police figures in the National Overview on Synthetic Drugs for 2019.

Noord-Brabant is still the main province when it comes to discovered drug labs, but more and more drug criminals are being caught in the eastern parts of the country. In 2015, the police encountered seven labs for the production of ecstasy and amphetamine in Oost-Nederland. Last year there were 20.

An increasing number of crystal meth labs particularly have the police concerned. Last year nine meth labs were discovered in the Netherlands. This year the police already found two. The police fear that this means crystal meth use is also on the rise. "We had a heroin problem at the end of the last century. We don't want that with meth," a spokesperson said to the newspaper.

While the number of drug labs skyrocketed, the number of places where drug waste was found dumped decreased from 292 in 2018 to 191 last year. According to the police, this shows that criminals have become more sophisticated when disposing of their waste. 

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