Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, January 16, 2023

'Mexican Cocaine And Crystal Meth Increasingly Intercepted At Schiphol Airport'

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Dutch authorities intercepted three high-profile drug shipments from Mexico at Schiphol Airport in a month and a half. A total of 436 kilos of cocaine and 69 kilos of crystal meth were found in air cargo from Mexico. According to InSight Crime, there is "a new trend in drug trafficking to Europe.

(Image: the 300 kilos of coke intercepted at Schiphol on Nov. 27)

On Jan. 5, customs at Schiphol found 136 kilos of cocaine and 9 kilos of methamphetamine during a check of containers from Mexico. A month earlier, in early December, customs intercepted 60 kilos of crystal meth in air cargo from Mexico. This was a large quantity as Customs confiscated only 20 kilos of meth in all of 2021. On Nov. 27, Customs discovered 300 kilograms of cocaine in air cargo from Mexico. The compressed one-kilogram blocks were hidden in a panel carrying cargo.

The catch of 300 kilos was exceptional. Cocaine seizures at Schiphol Airport that were not brought in passengers' luggage but elsewhere on an aircraft usually range between about 10 and 100 kilos. The three seizures, which took place within a six-week period, stem from investigative agencies' concerns that Mexican drug traffickers are increasingly turning to Europe as an outlet.

Europol/DEA report
In December, a joint report by Europol and DEA revealed growing cooperation between Mexican cartels and EU-based criminal networks to smuggle cocaine and methamphetamine into Europe. "Most often, drugs are hidden in food, building materials and equipment, as well as in other goods, such as water filters and wooden door frames," the report said, suggesting that most incoming meth is re-exported to more lucrative destinations in Oceania.

Air freight on the rise?
While Mexican drug traffickers continue to enter their overseas markets, they seem to increasingly prefer air cargo to smuggle meth. That makes Schiphol, Europe's third busiest cargo airport an important receiving point. Since 2021, most seizures of Mexican meth outside the Americas have involved air cargo, smuggling 50 to 200 kilograms of liquid meth or crystal meth at a time from Mexico City International Airport, according to InSight Crime.

2.5 tons of meth in Rotterdam
In June 2019, Dutch police found a record amount of 2.5 tons of Mexican meth in a hidden room in a Rotterdam office building. At the time, it was the largest ever find of the drug in Europe. Police estimated the street value of the batch at hundreds of millions of euros.

Mexican and Dutch networks
Since then, police have identified 17 Mexicans suspected of facilitating Dutch meth production, according to the police report, the narco-state of the Netherlands in 2021. The drug report shows that Mexican and Dutch networks cooperate not only in the production of methamphetamine but also in the large-scale importation of methamphetamine. Large consignments of methamphetamine are smuggled from Mexico to Europe. This is done through the lines that have long been used to smuggle cocaine.

Mexican networks provide transportation to Europe, after which Dutch networks provide reception. The leaders of the Dutch network keep in touch with the leaders within the Mexican network. The Mexicans provide skilled lab technicians called "cooks. These lab technicians mostly come from Mexico and are already present in Europe or are flown in from Latin America.

Not necessarily cartels
According to Belgian journalist Arthur Debruyne, Mexico correspondent for the Financieele Dagblad, the recent smuggling through Schiphol does not necessarily involve Mexican cartels behind it. Small and medium-sized Mexican smugglers are also trying to diversify destinations as a saturated U.S. market drives meth prices to record lows.

Debruyne to InSight Crime: "Last year I interviewed a drug trafficker in Culiacán, Sinaloa, who told me that smaller independent traffickers like him were increasingly looking to Europe - Spain and the Netherlands - to ship meth. And he was shipping smaller quantities like this, 10 kilos, 20 kilos, 30 kilos, by air freight.'

As for cocaine, the connection to Mexico is more surprising. American demand is increasingly shaky, but its geographic location should still make it the Mexican narco's first choice. The Dutch police's Drug Report 2021 shows that the Netherlands only seizes a few hundred kilos of cocaine a year from Mexico, so Schiphol's 436 kilos in six weeks is extremely exceptional.

Most (standard) interceptions of cocaine shipments at Schiphol involve cocaine from Suriname, Aruba, and Curaçao, according to a 2020 analysis by Bureau Beke. More seizures of cocaine from Mexico at Schiphol could therefore indicate that the attraction of the European market is growing faster than expected.

Additional investments
It is a scenario the Dutch government is preparing for. In November, Dutch Justice and Security Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius told the House of Representatives that by 2022, the cabinet has spent $14 million to strengthen controls at Schiphol Airport. That rises to $23.5 million in 2023 and $33.5 million in 2024.


  1. Sicilian Cosa Nostra boss Matteo Messina Denaro arrested!

    He was interpol’s # 1 and the # 1 most wanted in Italy…

    Looks like crap in his mugshot, Italian news says he has colon cancer and was hospitalized 6 times in the last 2 years…

    No wonder he turned himself in?

  2. I could see that the Netherlands has drug trafficking organizations and mafias working with/buying from and moving products originating from Mexico if the arrangements and prices were acceptable.

    The issue that strikes me is this, why would you want to do business with Mexico rather than the Gulf Cartel in Medellin… for coca….

    And acquire the precursor ingredients and chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine (BMK/p2p/ephedrine) from China and India and make it themselves in the Netherlands.

    If they already make meth, ketamine, mescaline, amphetamine, methylenedixoxymethamphetamine, etc. why bother with Mexican cartels at all??

    1. B/c Mexican DTOs have best pricing on quality paste and logistics, and their quantity pricing of precursors from China, Vietnam and N Korea is organized and cooked to produce the highest margins with how their cooks manufacture.
      Why does the world buy microchips from Taiwan, financial derivatives customized in NYC. Because they do it best and most efficiently.

    2. 8:16 dure you don't know that the netherlands is also the leader of chips worldwide. The very largest multinationals buy chips from ASLM in Eindhoven, not from taiwan of that cheap counterfeit junk.

    3. Because why not

      It’s as simple as that.. You gotta network.

    4. They probably go with Mexicans for 2 reasons. The scale of Mexican operations allows them to compete price wise without the paper trail of buying straight from the source. The Dutch don’t have to burn none of their legit infrastructure bringing in the precursors

    5. 2:13 Exactly. The only stuff they may need, is cocaine.

  3. The Netherlands makes methamphetamine like this:

    They don’t need Mexicans for anything ever. Period.

    Mexican Cartel members in Culiacan Sinaloa are desperate because they are fucked, need money, and don’t have any more customers… probably they all died from fentanyl poisoning

    Why would anyone international even think of sourcing from Sinaloa!? For what, the only “power” this cartel has is its close landlocked proximity to Baja California and Sonora — the Mexican territories providing most of the access to smuggle dope into the USA.

    1. Bro there was mexican cartel members hired to help dutch goons set up a meth lab. And recently 10 colombian cartel members where also caught in holland.

    2. uhm “bro” the Netherlands has been making the best drugs together with Germany for centuries. That you think Mexicans can do better because the big drug bosses ask people from the Netherlands and Germany for knowledge

    3. 02:07 do you hear yourself bro, "And recently 10 colombian cartel members where also caught in holland..."

      Yeah, Colombian Cartels in Holland make sense. They trade cocaine for ecstacy and Ketamine and make Tucibi

    4. Uhm Mate are you living in your own word or what? It was in the news that a Dutch good connected Mexican cooks to help him make good Meth. Just search it up " mexicaanse kartel in Nederland". Nobody cares about german drugs circuit

  4. The Dutch know how to produce, import, distribute and export drugs, it's in their DNA.

  5. I can give you 1 well-founded opinion, in the Netherlands money laundering was invented somewhere in 1700, the spices that the voc exported at that time were pepper, salt and nutmeg plus tea and coffee and of course also opium. If you visit the old Haarlem, The Hague, Leiden, Vlissingen, Middelburg and Amsterdam, of course, you will see the wealth of what nature's products can do you good.

  6. Not smart in airports they have better security equipment than ports. And scan every item!


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