Sharp increase in drugs seized at PostNL last year
Customs officers found drugs in nearly 27,000 pieces of outgoing mail last year, significantly more than the 15,500 mailed drugs intercepted in 2021. The majority of the seizures consisted of ecstasy smuggled from the Netherlands to countries like the United States and Australia, Customs announced on Thursday.
The increase in seizures is partly due to increased customs controls for drugs in the post. The fact that dance parties picked up again after the pandemic worldwide last year likely also played a role. The increase is solely due to drugs found in letters. Smuggling by parcel post decreased slightly last year.
Last year, customs intercepted a total of 64,383 kilograms of drugs. In terms of volume, cocaine made up the bulk of the seizures at 51,447 kilograms. While the number of cocaine seizures was about the same as in 2021, the amount was significantly lower – authorities seized 71,796 kilograms in 2021. For all other types of drugs, Customs noted an increase in kilograms seized. Most of the drugs were intercepted at the port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport.
“By intercepting drugs, Customs makes an important contribution to tackling undermining crime,” said State Secretary Aukje de Vries for Allowances and Customs. “Criminal drug traffickers are becoming increasingly ruthless, and the consequences of this are increasingly felt in society. With every gram we seize, criminals are affected in their income, and society becomes a bit safer.”
The 2022 drug figures also showed that much more cocaine destined for the Netherlands was intercepted abroad last year. South American customs authorities seized nearly 110 tons of cocaine destined for the Netherlands, compared to 41 tons in 2021.