Cross-border cooperation against international drug trafficking

The National Polish Police Investigation Centre, with the help of the Dutch Police Force and the German Police Force, have identified and closed an important supplier of chemical products intended to manufacture synthetic drugs in the Netherlands.

The cross-border operation, executed thanks to cooperation between the different police forces, was able to intervene tons of chemical products, arrested members of a centre producing medication and closed laboratories producing medicine. Over 300 police officers participated in a day of joint action planned with the support of Europol.

From the start of the investigations, Europol helped Germany, the Netherlands and Poland with their enquiries, while providing analytical and specialised support, as well as organising operational meetings.

The Netherlands police force carried out searches in 17 different localities, arresting seven suspects and closing equipment in three laboratories. They also intervened: over 100 kg MDMA crystals, a dozen or so litres of MDMA compound, 1,000 litres of BMK and 30 litres of PMK (precursors of amphetamines), 67 tons of different non-programmed chemical substances, 4 weapons ready for use and numerous stolen vehicles.

In Poland, the police arrested 8 suspects and confiscated 17 tons of chemical products and 4 kg of amphetamine paste. In Germany, 7 tons of chemical products intended to manufacture synthetic drugs were also confiscated. Some of the codified telephones used by traffickers were also confiscated to continue investigating without ruling out further detentions.

The Polish police had been gathering information about drug traffickers since 2016. During the investigation it was discovered that traffickers were transporting about two tons of chemical products from Poland to different addresses in the south of the Netherlands up to three times a week, to places where synthetic drugs were being produced illegally.

The suspects acquired chemical products legally, like sodium hydroxide, formic acid, phosphate and acetone in Poland. These chemical products can be used for the illegal production of amphetamines, MDMA and methamphetamine. Then, they acquired additional chemical products and stored them temporarily in  Germany.

In April 2018, after a long investigation and the gathering of evidence against the organised crime group mainly active in the Netherlands, Poland and (to a lesser extent) in Germany, the joint police operation was launched. The Dutch, German and Polish police forces carried out searches simultaneously in identified locations, and detained traffickers in the respective countries.

Europol provided direct support to dismantle one of the illegal laboratories discovered in the Netherlands, and also analytical support with a mobile office in Poland.

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