Southern drugs crime crack down results in 313 arrests

Dutch police officerEfforts to stem the surge in drugs-related crime in the south of the country led to 313 arrests and the winding up of 45 criminal organisations, police said on Friday.

Since October 2014, when local politicians sounded the alarm, efforts to combat drugs crime in Limburg, Zeeland and Brabant have been stepped up. In particular the focus was on rounding up crime gangs involved in cultivating marijuana and producing ecstasy.

In total, 121 marijuana plantations were discovered with a total of nearly 200,000 plants and seedlings. If this had come to market, it would have had a street value of €123m, police said. Thousands of litres and chemicals and 334,000 ecstasy pills were also seized.

The haul also included 169 weapons, including grenades, Kalashnikovs and semi-automatic weapons plus €3m in cash. In an effort to track down criminal money, police also sequestered 93 vehicles, nine yachts and 23 private homes.

In total, 140 police officers and justice ministry officials were involved in the crack-down.

There was also considerable liaison with German and Belgian officials in an effort to stop any rise in cross-border crime, police said in the statement.

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