Three people accused of illegally trading antibiotics face up to 20 years in jail if found guilty, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.
The three ringleaders of the antibiotics gang are due to appear in court in Groningen on Monday. They were arrested following raids of a number of premises in March 2011.
In total six people were arrested during the investigation. Police also seized 3.5 tonnes of antibiotics which was destined for factory chicken farms in the north of the country. This is the equivalent of a year’s supply for around 25% of the northern provinces’ poultry farms, the Volkskrant said.
Twenty-four poultry farmers are known to have used the unregistered antibiotics. It is not clear if they also face charges.
The three main suspects are charged with illegally trading antibiotics and selling and distributing products which could be a danger to public health. The public prosecution department also says the three are members of a criminal organisation.
Some of the antibiotics sold by the gang are on a list of medicines which may not be used on animals because of the risk of humans becoming resistant to them.
Police do not know what volume of antibiotics has been sold since the gang started operating in 2008.