Police find cocaine lab with the help of fallen tree

Photo: Politie.nl
Photo: Politie.nl

A fallen tree has revealed one of the Netherland’s largest cocaine labs ever discovered, Dutch police said on Thursday.

When residents wanted to remove the tree trunk in Oud-Vossemeer, Zeeland, they smelled a strange odour and, on investigating, they discovered a farm outhouse where cocaine was being purified.

This ‘washing’ process, typically done with chemicals such as acetone, prepares the drug for users. A large quantity of drugs was discovered when police investigated the shed, but the suspected owners have apparently fled.

A separate report revealed that the amount of cocaine discovered in the EU doubled between 2016 to 2017, to 140 tonnes. Most was found in Belgium (45 tonnes), then Spain (41 tonnes), and then the Netherlands (14.6 tonnes) – mostly being smuggled through shipping containers in their harbours.

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