Police: Increase in the number of cocaine laundries in the Netherlands

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A cocaine laundry was found by the police in Chaam in Brabant on Monday. Two people have been arrested. Figures announced by the police on Tuesday show that the number of labs where sniffable cocaine powder is extracted from carrier material such as clothing or from cocaine paste is increasing. In 2022, 17 cocaine labs will have been dismantled in the Netherlands.


The raid in Chaam was on Monday at the end of the afternoon on the Leerdreef. A 58-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman have been arrested as suspects. On Monday, April 24, the police launched an investigation in the outskirts of Chaam following a tip from Meld Misdaad Anoniem. The site included a bungalow and a barn.

105 locations

Last year, the police found a total of 105 production locations where ecstasy (MDMA), crystal meth, amphetamine, or heroin and/or cocaine were produced. In 2022, that number rose sharply after falling in 2021. In 2020, a record number of locations were dismantled, thanks in part to information from the cracked encryption service EncroChat.

National portfolio holder for drugs at the National Police Willem Woelders: ‘We suspect that the market will have recovered from those interventions within a year. And that is worrying.’

The number of (sometimes dangerous) drug lab accidents has doubled in the past year compared to 2021.


Amphetamine remains the drug with the most manufacturing sites (38) discovered. This is followed by methamphetamine (15) and MDMA (15). ‘Criminal organizations are polydrugs oriented,’ says Woelders. ‘We see more and more that production locations are used for multifunctional purposes. For example, last year we found nine drug labs where more than one type of drug was being produced, usually methamphetamine in combination with another drug.’

Most synthetic drugs go abroad.

According to Woelders, the increase in the number of GHB production locations was also striking: from 3 in 2021 to 13 in 2022.


In 2022, 1604 cannabis farms will be dismantled. That was less than a year earlier when 2285 nurseries were broken up. In addition to nurseries, 61 plug plants were also evacuated in 2022 and 33 drying plants were discovered. The number of closed grow shops will be 8 in 2022.

According to Woelders, there is currently little capacity within the regional police units to deal with cannabis farms. In addition, they are more difficult to detect because growers manage to hide them better. In 2022 there were also far fewer reports to Meld Misdaad Anoniem about nurseries.

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