Demand is increasing – the Netherlands registers drug laboratory records

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Frightening development in the Netherlands: Never before have so many drug laboratories been unearthed as in 2023. Experts warn that the demand for medicines is increasing sharply worldwide.

“An important explanation for the increasing number of robberies in laboratories is the increasing global demand for medicines,” said the head of the drug brigade, Willem Woelders. “We have strong indications that demand is increasing. We see this, for example, in the global seizures of drugs that can be linked to the Netherlands.” The success of the search is also related to the increased information from the population about possible drug production locations. According to the police, these also pose a danger to the environment, for example because there is a risk of fire and explosions.

Compared to the previous year, the number of exposed illegal production sites for heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs in the Netherlands increased by 44 percent to 151, Dutch police said on Tuesday. Never before have so many discoveries been made in one year. In particular, the number of laboratories in which various synthetic drugs are produced has increased sharply.

Significant impact on the environment
The illegal drug laboratories also lead to significant environmental pollution, as drug criminals dump barrels of chemical waste into nature. In 2023, 191 such drug waste dumps were discovered, 23 percent more than the previous year. Moreover, according to the police, such waste is simply dumped into sewers or natural waters.

Meanwhile, the number of cannabis plantations discovered in the Netherlands decreased last year. 1,230 such plantations were excavated by the police. In 2022 there were still 1,604. The reasons for this are that criminals are increasingly dependent on cocaine and synthetic drugs and that cannabis is increasingly imported from abroad to the Netherlands.

Source: Krone

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