Dutch seize two tonnes of ketamine in ‘largest-ever’ haul

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - THE HAGUE, Jan 19 — Dutch police have intercepted the country’s “largest-ever” haul of ketamine worth tens of millions of euros, police said today, with drug seizures hitting record highs in the Netherlands.

Following a tip-off, police two weeks ago discovered two tonnes of ketamine stashed in boxes in a shed in Muiderberg, just east of Amsterdam.

“The ketamine had a street value of around €55 million (RM282 million),” Dutch police said.

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“The haul is the largest-ever discovered in the country,” they added in a statement.

Police arrested a 55-year-old man, who was living on the premises with two children at the time of the raid.

The Netherlands and neighbouring Belgium have become major entry points for drug smuggling operations into Europe, especially through the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp.

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Dutch authorities scored a major bust in August, uncovering more than eight tonnes of cocaine concealed in a banana shipment from Ecuador — the largest ever consignment.

Ketamine is not illegal under Dutch drug laws, but it may not be traded or stored without official registration.

It is used as a recreational drug for its numbing and hallucinogenic effects.

The drug can also be used by doctors as an anaesthetic, and researchers are exploring its use as a mental health treatment.

“Friends” actor Matthew Perry died from an accidental ketamine overdose at his Los Angeles home in October, US medical examiners said, throwing the spotlight on the drug’s use. — AFP

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