A joint operation by agencies in Australia and the Netherlands has seized $200 million worth of MDMA and broken up a massive smuggling operation. Charges have been filed against 11 people in the raid. The seized raw materials are believed to have been getting ready to target holidaying teens in Australia, claims a minister.
“That is one of the most significant operations in the history of the collaboration between all of our agencies,” said Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who leads Australia’s police and security agencies.
The investigation lasted months leading to the raid, in which around 1,540 pounds of crystalline MDMA were intercepted in August in the Dutch port of Rotterdam, the Australian Federal Police said.
According to IB Times, the Dutch police then raided an additional 15 locations in the Netherlands and Belgium on November 5, uncovering two hidden laboratories, additional stashes of MDMA and 50 tonnes of precursor chemicals, police said. That amount could be used to make more than 10 million ecstasy pills, according to officials.
“We believe that this criminal network was involved and able to produce many thousands of kilos of MDMA, equivalent to tens of millions of pills, a large part of which was likely destined for Australia,” said Andy Kraag, assistant commissioner of the Dutch National Criminal Investigations Division.
Kraag said those arrested in Europe included two “high-value targets” of a significant Dutch drug-running network and that further arrests were expected.
“We want to target the complete chain,” he said.
IB Times | Photo: Australia Federal Police / Handout