The police have received over 900 reports of stolen baby milk powder over the past year, broadcaster Nos says on Tuesday.
Most of the milk powder is stolen to order for buyers, a police spokesman told the broadcaster.
The true figure is likely to be far higher because many retailers don’t report shop-lifting incidents, the Dutch retail council said.
‘This is organised crime and a network which knows each other well,’ a spokesman said. ‘They come from eastern Europe and think they can get away with it. It is a nationwide problem.’
Nos says much of the demand for milk powder comes from China, following the melamine contamination affair in 2008.
Since the scandal, traders are known to buy up large quantities of Dutch product and send it abroad, the broadcaster says. However, Nos does not say if the current rise in baby milk theft is connected to Chinese demand.
Many Dutch supermarkets now limit sales of milk powder to two tins per customer to make sure they can offer a continuous supply.
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