The Speed and Ecstasy trade in the Netherlands has a higher turnover than Albert Heijn

This may seem shocking (and it is), but according to NOS, the sales of speed and ecstasy in the Netherlands is higher than the annual turnover of Albert Heijn and Philips.

A study by the Police Academy has published these shocking figures, showing that the industry is worth €18.9 billion (and that’s only an estimate, it’s expected to be higher). This figure is based on the worldwide sale of these synthetic drugs, only produced in the Netherlands. This figure does not include Dutch criminals working across the border. This is also the first time that the scale of production has been calculated this extensively.


The turnover of Dutch drug criminals is crazy, estimated at a minimum of 3 – 5 billion. Producers, on estimate, have already earned over 600 million euros, with traders even earning more than that.

The price to make an ecstasy pill is only 20 cents, yet the selling price varys from country to country. The average selling price in the Netherlands is 4 euros, in the UK it’s 10 and in Australia, it’s 20. As most of the drugs from the Netherlands are sold abroad, most of the dealers make the money in these countries. In short: the big fish are here in the Netherlands.


Policing criticisms 

The police have been criticised on numerous occasions for not doing enough to combat the drugs trade here in the Netherlands. The arrest rate is pretty low and extensive research by detectives is rarely conducted. Drug trafficking punishments are also seen as too lenient.

The researchers feel that the dangers of the drug industry here in the Netherlands is completely underestimated. Until something is done it is bound to get worse. There is not much pressure by the government at the present moment to change this.

What do you think about this new research? Let us know in the comments.

By the way, you have absolutely no idea how tempting it was to made a joke that it’s actually more expensive to shop at Albert Heijn, but I didn’t. I’ll just leave this here anyway. 😉


*Cover pic: Willy Turner // Wikimedia Commons

Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.


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