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Dutch police roll up cannabis 'crime family'

10 June 2015, 08:56

The Hague - Dutch police have arrested six family members accused of exporting large amounts of cannabis to France, police said on Tuesday.

More than 200 officers swooped on 24 addresses in the southern Dutch cities of Etten-Leur and Roosendaal following an intensive 18-month probe by Dutch and French police, a statement said.

Police on Tuesday seized a cannabis plantation and a small amount of cannabis resin, as well as a villa which police said was bought with "criminal proceeds".

They confiscated weapons, money counting machines and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Also Read: Drugs agency welcomes arrest of Lebanese suspect

The suspects are part of a "crime family who became wealthy through exporting soft drugs to France," Dutch police said.

"They are suspected of running a drug pipeline to France for years, making millions in the process."

In a coordinated raid, police in southern Spain seized a luxury car and an apartment, though it was unclear whether the family are also suspected of operating in Spain.

Six people, including two French citizens, were arrested and are facing drug and money laundering charges.

Although cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands, the country in 1976 decriminalised possession of small amounts and it is widely available.

However, growing and selling any quantity over five grammes is illegal, meaning the cultivation and sale of large amounts of cannabis is largely in the hands of organised crime.

The majority of cannabis grown in the Netherlands is exported illegally.



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