The largest cocaine washing facility ever found in the Netherlands was raided on Tuesday, in Nijeveen, Drenthe. It’s estimated that the lab had the capacity to produce around 150 to 200 kilos of cocaine per day. 

Found in a converted horse riding stable, police say the lab had “sleeping quarters and recreation areas also built on the site.” The site was not being used to produce the drug, but rather process it for further distribution. Tens of thousands of litres of chemicals, in addition to about 100 kilos of cocaine base (a smokeable form of the drug from boiled cocaine) was found. It took the LFO (the National Dismantling Facility) three days to dispose of the material.

The 17 suspects

The property owner and 16 other suspects have been arrested, including 13 from Columbia, three Dutch and a person of Turkish nationality. Suspected of producing the drugs, they will face the examining magistrate on August 12 and 13. Police do not exclude the possibility of multiple arrests.

The property owner is a 64-year-old horse breeder and dealer, described by neighbours as an ordinary man, according to AD.

READ MORE | Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cocaine in the Netherlands

Additional warehouse raids

Warehouses in Elshout and Apeldoorn were also raided on Tuesday, where police found 120,000 kilos of carrier material. Cocaine is extracted from carrier material (like clothing) and converted into cocaine base during the cocaine washing process. 

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LFO Chief Inspector André van Rijn said in a press report, “This is the largest cocaine laboratory ever found in the Netherlands. Given the number of people who worked there, the installations, the size, the furnishings and the equipment, we estimate the production capacity at 150 to 200 kilos of cocaine per day. This number equals a street value of between 4.5 and 6 million euros.” Police say the investigation will continue.

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Feature Image: Politie Landelijke Eenheid

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