Crystal meth in the polder; police are increasingly finding labs in rural areas

The Dutch police increasingly find laboratories where crystal meth is produced. Last year, nine labs were found and dismantled, by now the counter – after the first eight months of this year – has reached eleven.

We want crystal meth to have no ground in the Netherlands, and drug-related crime goes hand in hand with violence and liquidations anyway, so it has top priority, says Detective Andy Kraag.

Dutch ec-makers switch over relatively easily

Crystal Meth is an abbreviation of crystal methamphetamine, a white, crystallised drug that is highly addictive and has a strong effect. It is relatively cheap to make and its street value is high.

This is also the reason why some of the Dutch drug criminals, who in recent years have been mostly active in ecstasy production, want to switch to crystal meth, the police suspect. Very high profits can be made abroad. Dutch ecstasy producers already have the necessary hardware, raw materials and distribution networks at their disposal, says Andy Kraag of the national criminal investigation department.

73-year-old suspect arrested to lab in barn

In the village of Kerkenveld, in the municipality of De Wolden in the province of Drenthe, a laboratory for crystal meth was found last summer. The lab was large and professionally set up, says Paul Logemann, lawyer of the 73-year-old resident of the farm where the lab was found. The 73-year-old man is still in prison.

This is a large, normal, partly empty farm. The man made his attic available, but according to lawyer Logemann did not know that a meth-lab would be built. Once you get involved with this kind of people, it’s very difficult to get out, explains the lawyer. My client was told in no uncertain terms to shut up and allow it all to happen

For a long time the xtc-labs were mainly located in North Brabant. This year the police are finding labs all over the country. They are often located in the countryside, on remote farms. In augstus another lab was found in Montfoort. It lay under a thick layer of dyke clay in six connected containers.

According to Andy Kraag of the police, there are two reasons why crystal meth labs are found more often. On the one hand, we see criminals switching more often because demand is increasing and it produces more. But as police, we have said: this is prio 1. We focus on it. That’s why we roll up so many labs.

Mexican cooks

People from Central America, especially Mexico, are regularly arrested and detained when the drug labs are rolled up. According to police officer Kraag, Dutch drug criminals let these ‘Mexican cooks’ fly in for a specific step in the production process.

The cartels in Mexico are known all over the world for being very violent, says Kraag. I understand people’s concern when we find Mexicans in laboratories here. But it really is the Dutch drug criminals who are in charge here, hiring Mexicans to produce the crystal meth