Police seize 735 kilos of fireworks in border checks, four people are arrested

Part of the weekend haul. Photo: Politie.nl
Part of the weekend haul. Photo: Politie.nl

Dutch police arrested four people for smuggling illegal fireworks into the Netherlands from Germany this weekend, as part of a crackdown in the east and north of the country.

The arrests were made after targeted checks on cars close to the border at Overdinkel and Rijssen in Overijssel.

In the first case, a 31-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were found to have 500 kilos of fireworks in their car. In the second case, involving 22-year-old and 25-year-old men, police discovered 235 kilos of fireworks.

The fireworks have been impounded.

Every year, police confiscate tens of tonnes of illegal fireworks in the run up to the New Year festivities. Earlier this month, for example, police seized 3.7 tonnes from a storage container in Tilburg and arrested two men.

Firework bans

Despite the popularity of the annual firework frenzy, several of the Netherlands biggest cities are pressing ahead with a total firework ban at New Year, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

A nationwide ban on the sale of more dangerous fireworks, including firecrackers and rockets, was introduced last year, and further restrictions were also imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nevertheless, the ban was widely flouted and hundreds of people were injured and dozens of cars set on fire. However, the police and the emergency services were called out some 30% fewer times than during ‘normal’ New Year celebrations, officials said.

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