“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat

Police are very concerned about the rise of crystal meth. A record number of labs have been dismantled this year, and fronts of the notorious Mexican Sinaloa cartel have visited the Netherlands.

Dutch synthetic drug criminals are making inroads into the world trade in crystal meth. For the past year and a half, they have been converting their labs to produce the highly addictive – and lucrative – drug. While nine crystal meth labs were busted last year, sixteen were busted in the first half of 2020, plus two more in July and August.

Presumably they work together with Mexican cartels, according to a tip the police received from Mexican investigative agencies. Two leaders of the Sinaloa cartel allegedly visited the Netherlands with tourist visas last summer.

Police are linking this to crystal meth and have put a nationwide team of 100 detectives on the case. “If you let this run its course, the Netherlands could just become one of the largest meth-producing countries in the world,” said Andy Kraag, head of the national criminal investigation department.


“There could then be competition with Mexico, where the cartels are known to be extremely violent. It is our top priority to prevent that kind of violence, intimidation and liquidations.”

Pill farmers from the Netherlands already regularly join forces with Mexicans, global market leaders in crystal meth. Drugs made in Mexico undergo a final production step in the Netherlands: crystallization. Mexican lab technicians are flown in for their expertise, and Dutch criminals are making the switch now that there is less to be earned from trafficking xtc or speed. Crystal meth quickly earns ten times as much in countries like Australia.