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Cablegate: Netherlands: Record-Breaking Xtc Seizures In

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS THE HAGUE 003298

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/UBI, INL
DOJ FOR JUDI FRIEDMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR NL BE SP UK GE
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: RECORD-BREAKING XTC SEIZURES IN
NOVEMBER UNLIKELY TO STEM THE TIDE OF ILLEGAL DRUGS

1. (U) Summary. Dutch police, in coordination with
Belgian, German and Spanish officials, raided multiple
illegal drug sites in November 2005, leading to the
dismantling of the largest MDMA (ecstasy) laboratory ever
discovered in The Netherlands and the interception of a
significant quantity of cocaine. Nineteen people were
arrested in raids in the southern region of the country.

2. (U) On 29 November, a combined taskforce with elements
from the Dutch National Crime Squad (NR), a component of the
Royal Dutch National Police (KLDP), and the Ministry of
Finance,s fiscal and economic investigation service
(FIOD-ECD) seized the largest MDMA lab ever found in the
country. Dutch police sources reported that the lab, located
in a farmhouse in Nederweert, was an extremely professional
facility capable of producing millions of ecstasy tablets.
The press has speculated that it could have produced some 20
million pills. At an off-site facility in Voerendaal,
authorities found other materials, including 50,000 liters of
various precursor chemicals which they believed were for use
at the lab in Nederweert. Dutch officials also seized
several vehicles, firearms, cash, and records during the
raids, and arrested six suspects--all residents of Limburg
province. Dutch authorities had previously discovered two
chemical dumpsites associated with this lab in January 2004
and March 2005.

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3. (U) According to press reports, German and Spanish agents
assisted NR with information that led to the interdiction of
a shipment of 1,650 kilograms of cocaine on 9 November 2005
at the port of Rotterdam. The drugs had an estimated street
value of $60 million and were hidden in two shipping
containers in tins of asparagus and red peppers that arrived
from Peru with final destinations in the UK and Germany.
Some thirteen suspects--including a Spanish food wholesaler,
a Briton believed to be responsible for the drug's
importation, and a German--were subsequently arrested. Most
of the suspects were taken into custody at a warehouse in
Zwanenburg on 12 November.

4. (U) Comment. The seizure of the lab was the culmination
of joint operations involving Dutch, German and Belgian law
enforcement agencies. It demonstrates that tri-national
cooperation can contribute significantly towards the
disruption of major MDMA production and distribution
organizations. Most of the Western European MDMA production
traffickers operate along the Dutch, German, and Belgian
borders.
BLAKEMAN

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