October 26, 2019

The Netherlands still a major drug hub

Filed under: Health by Orangemaster @ 11:09 am

According to a study published this week, The Netherlands makes the top of the list for the highest rate of MDMA (aka x, xtc, ecstasy and molly) use. The study is the ‘largest wastewater based epidemiology study ever performed in terms of cities (120) and countries (37) involved and of the monitoring duration (2011–17).’ Scientists from around the world sampled wastewater for drug residue, which is said to be an increasingly popular method to track patterns in the global illicit drug market over the past decade.

Different places have different favourites as well. Results showed that overall drug use was most prevalent cities such as Antwerp, Amsterdam, Zurich, London, and Barcelona, while cities in Greece, Portugal, Finland, Poland, and Sweden had the lowest rates of drug residue in wastewater. I bet the latter drink instead, but that’s an uneducated guess. And there’s no denying that people do come to Amsterdam to do drugs despite any city marketing spin to the contrary.

Cocaine was most popular in London, Bristol, Amsterdam, Zurich, Geneva, St Gallen, and Antwerp. While the Netherlands had the highest rates of MDMA use, the drug was also popular in Helsinki, Oslo, Brussels, Dortmund, Zagreb, Zurich, Geneva, and Barcelona.

Not only is the use of MDMA a public health issue, the amount of chemical dumping that apparently goes on in Noord-Brabant is terrible for the environment. Basically, anybody taking MDMA is also indirectly contributing to this problem. The study also states that MDMA use was big in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam.

More background on why the Netherlands is a drug hub:

‘The Netherlands is the cocaine hub of Europe’

Dutch cities do well as drug capitals

(Link: vice.com, Photo: DEA)

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March 21, 2019

Dutch family caught with 3300 kilos of coke

Filed under: Animals,General by Orangemaster @ 3:38 pm

A Dutch father and his two sons living in Spain and Germany were caught by the police with a staggering 3300 kilos of cocaine back in 2017. They gave themselves up and are now in prison in the Netherlands, and I guess now the press can talk about it.

The cocaine, which was found in Hazeldonk near Breda, Noord Brabant, known as an important corridor between the Netherlands and Belgium, was hidden in a shipment of bananas from South America that was to be transported from Antwerp to the Netherlands.

Back in 2017, the owners of the transport company and the driver were arrested and a police team starting investigating to find out who was behind the smuggle. They did as you do and followed the money, and found villas, cash and expensive cars.

And because of a rough news week in the Netherlands with a terrible shooting and a racist party getting more leverage in the Dutch senate after yesterday’s elections, here’s a short video of a goat riding a sheep that I know I needed to watch.

(Link: nos.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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November 24, 2017

First Belgian-Dutch series to hit Netflix

Filed under: Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 11:36 am

The first Belgian-Dutch co-production ‘Undercover’, a 10-part series, is set to hit Netflix in 2019, and it stars Anna Drijver (Dutch), Frank Lammers (Dutch), Elise Schaap (Dutch) and Tom Waes (Belgian), produced by Jan Theys (Belgian), with writer and showrunner Nico Moolenaar (Dutch) and directed by Eshref Reybrouck (Belgian) and Frank Devos (Belgian).

For those of you who have watched the Netflix series ‘Narcos’, an American series about the cocaine trade in Colombia, consider this its European ecstasy cousin, but then set in the Netherlands and Belgium. Not a week goes by in the Netherlands and possibly Belgium without a news item about drums of chemicals used to make ecstasy (aka MDMA) found dumped in woods in the province of Noord-Brabant, so someone might as well make a series about it.

“I found it incredible to learn that the Netherlands and Belgium are such a huge part of the global drug trafficking network”, said producer Jan Theys. As for cocaine, the Netherlands remains the ‘Colombia of Western Europe’ and used to be the best and biggest cocaine producing country in the world until WWII.

(Link: broadwayworld.com, Photo: DEA)

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April 15, 2017

‘The Netherlands is the cocaine hub of Europe’

Filed under: Film,Health,History by Orangemaster @ 11:59 am

A recent Dutch report on organised crime has pointed out a troubling increase in cocaine coming into the Netherlands from South America, and has even referred to the country as ‘the Colombia of Western Europe’. As well, Europol has reported a major increase in the online sale of drugs from Dutch sources.

According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, in 2016 cocaine was the third most popular ‘ever used’ drug, with lifetime prevalence (proportion of a population have used cocaine) of 5.1%. We’ll see what the EMCDDA has to say in June as well.

And then there’s always the fascinating historical fact that until WWII the Netherlands was the best and biggest cocaine producing country in the world, all backed by the Dutch Royal Bank.

(Link: nhnieuws.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)

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November 2, 2015

Religious rural youth more violent than urban youth

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 3:10 pm


In his recently published article entitled ‘Taking the Conservative Protestant thesis across the Atlantic’ published in the British Journal of Criminology, Don Weenink of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Amsterdam claims that ‘Conservative Protestant rural youth are more often involved in violent crimes than their counterparts in urban areas, who also use less violence than average’. Less violence is possibly correlated with a total lack of nightlife, which in turn could also explain all the drinking and drugs.

Weenink collected data from 8000 Dutch young people aged 15 to 30. According to him, drinking alcohol is often seen as harmless pleasure by parents and young people in rural areas, whereas in urban areas it is often associate alcohol use with antisocial behaviour. As well, Protestant villages in the Dutch Bible belt have young people taking matters into their own hands in conflict situations. We only know the Bible Belt as a place where quacks suggest grinding oysters shells as medicine and children suffer and even die of measles for ‘religious reasons’.

Religious places like Urk and Volendam, also fishing villages, are often pointed out by many as full of bored kids that drink until they drop and take lots of drugs, usually cocaine. In 2012 quaint Volendam has more people snorting coke than cities like Paris, London and Milan. According to a 2003 Dutch television documentary ‘Fish, drugs and rock n’ roll’, the youth become drug addicts and alcoholics at a very young age and their religious leaders either thump Bibles or suggest they spend Saturdays playing board games with their parents. The documentary tells of Urk youth going to church to take and deal drugs.

(Link: phys.org, image an early 2000 Dunglish advert that wanted to say ‘if you drink more, you will think less, but managed to say the exact opposite)

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March 8, 2014

Skull made of ‘cocaine’ by Diddo

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 3:13 pm


Boingboing says:

The work of Dutch artist Diddo, Ecce Animal, is purported to be made from “street sourced” cocaine and gelatin. The artist also describes the laboratory process used to determine the purity of the product and create the work.

Apparently the cocaine was somewhere between 15% and 20% pure, the rest of the white powder consisting of “Phenacetin, Caffeine, Paracetamol and a relative large percentage of sugars”. We’ll never know for sure, as the work was commissioned and the artist claims to have signed an NDA, but that hasn’t stopped publications like The Independent, Huffington Post and Vice writing about the sculpture.

Check Diddo’s other works which also occupy the space between concept and easy shock value.

See also: Skull-shaped bird house

(Photo: bydiddo.com)

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November 8, 2012

Quaint tourist town of Volendam full of hard drug users

Filed under: Health,Music by Orangemaster @ 6:52 pm

According to Dutch television show ‘Spuiten en Slikken’, which talks candidly about drugs with young adults, the picturesque fishing village of Volendam uses more drugs per capita than cities like Milan, Paris and London. The sewer water, which was tested by the KWR Watercycle Research Institute, came up with the equivalent of one line of cocaine per 40 inhabitants. With XTC, Volendam takes the No. 3 spot in Europe, just behind the cities of Amsterdam and Eindhoven.

In July we already told you that Amsterdam had sewers full of hard drugs, but Volendam only has 22,000 inhabitants, although it attracts a lot of weekend drug users. Volendam is not as much the butt of jokes as the town of Urk, where kids drink and snort their religion-induced boredom away, but is home to many Dutch music artists that people either love or find annoying, making this discovery an excuse to make fun of Volendam.

(Link: www.rtvnh.nl, Photo: DEA)

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July 27, 2012

Amsterdam’s sewers are full of hard drugs

Filed under: General,Science by Orangemaster @ 8:54 am

Test the sewer waters in a city and scientists will tell you about your city, a bit like reading tea leaves, but a lot more accurate. Apparently, Amsterdam’s sewer water is full of cocaine and XTC, as scientists tested the water of 19 European cities. There is also a lot of cannabis floating around, but come weekend, ‘coke’ and XTC take over as the dominant hard drugs of choice, both also very popular in Antwerp, Belgium. In Scandinavian cities they’re more into speed.

Measuring sewage samples is said to be produce more reliable data about drug use than surveys, where people often provide sociably acceptable answers.

“What about countries like Amsterdam?” An American sheriff who obviously failed geography claims he was “crossing over bodies lying in the street” when he visited Amsterdam. I bet he was saying that to entertain the posse behind him. Tip: the War on Drugs is a complete wash. Both sides kinda come off silly in this video, although the sheriff takes the space cake.

(Links: www.at5.nl, nos.nl, Photo: DEA)

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April 22, 2009

The Dutch Cocaine Factory with filmmaker present

Filed under: Film,History by Orangemaster @ 10:11 pm

(Trailer of ‘The Dutch Cocaine Factory’ by Jeanette Groenendaal, 2007)

Screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IFDA) in 2007, ‘The Dutch Cocaine Factory’ by Jeanette Groenendaal is a documentary about the history of cocaine dealing in the Netherlands, claimed to be a fascinating adventure in both theme and form, with a David Lynch-like dream quality to it.

The fact is that for over 50 years, until WWII, the Netherlands was the best and biggest cocaine producing country in the world… and we are not talking about a scheme created by two bit junkies, but an operation created by the Dutch Royal Bank.

The film will be screened in the presence of Jeanette Groenendaal at De Nieuwe Anita in Amsterdam on Monday, April 27, at 8 pm. It’s a small, cozy place and sells out super fast.

A big thanks to Amsterdam-based American film expert Jeffrey Babcock for presenting such marvels and getting me to see good films for a change.

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July 3, 2007

Cornfield art gets creator arrested

Filed under: Art,Automobiles,Weird by Branko Collin @ 9:00 am

tilburg_cornfield.jpg When the police discovered a man from Tilburg driving an SUV through a cornfield near Dussen last week, they tried to stop him, but failed initially. A chase with several vehicles ensued, until almost the entire field was obliterated and the man was apprehended. Turns out the co-creator of this maze was under the influence of cocaine. De Telegraaf has a bigger photo (source of the image: the police of Brabant).

Make of SUV unknown. The driver’s license was confiscated on the spot.

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