Dutch police find country's biggest-ever cocaine lab in former riding school
Published Wednesday, August 12, 2020 10:43AM EDT
What is believed to be the biggest cocaine lab ever busted in The Netherlands was found at a former riding school. (Politie Landelijke Eenheid / CNN)
Police in The Netherlands have arrested 17 people following a raid on a massive cocaine lab, which they say is the biggest ever found in the country.
The lab was housed inside an old riding school in Nijeveen, around 75 miles northeast of Amsterdam, and included sleeping quarters and recreation areas, according to a police statement published Tuesday.
Police also released video footage showing equipment, including a row of cement mixers and vats of chemicals.
"This is the largest cocaine laboratory ever found in the Netherlands," said André van Rijn, chief inspector of the National Facility for Dismantling Support (LFO), which is dismantling the lab.
"Given the number of people who worked there, the installation, the size, the furnishings and the equipment, we estimate the production capacity at 150 to 200 kilos of cocaine per day."
This quantity of drugs is worth €4.5 million-€6 million (US$5.3 million-$7.1 million), van Rijn added.
Police raided the facility, as well as warehouses in Elshout and Apeldoorn, on Aug. 7. They found tens of thousands of liters of chemicals used to make cocaine, 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of cocaine base and 120,000 kilograms of carrier material, which is used to smuggle the drug.
Of the 17 people arrested, three were Dutch, one was Turkish and 13 were Colombian.
They are suspected of producing drugs and will appear in front of a magistrate on Aug. 12 and 13.