Nine methamphetamine labs have been dismantled in Belgium in less than three years, according to figures from several public prosecutors’ offices and the federal police.
Methamphetamine, a drug also known as crystal meth, has a euphoric effect, but is also very destructive and highly addictive.
In Europe, crystal meth labs are a relatively new phenomenon, with the first one being dismantled in the Netherlands in 2015.
The first Belgian lab was discovered in March 2018 in the municipality of Vorselaar in the Antwerp province.
In June 2019, another lab was dismantled in the municipality of Wuustwezel in the north of Antwerp, close to the Dutch border. The police also arrested three Mexicans there.
In the Limburg province, five meth labs were discovered by investigators, in the municipalities in of Peer, Hasselt, Bilzen, Leopoldsburg and Maasmechelen.
However, the phenomenon is no longer limited to the border regions, according to reports in Knack and Le Soir magazine, as labs were also discovered in Lendelede in the West Flanders province, and in Huy in the Liège province.
Crystal meth produced in Belgium and the Netherlands is mainly destined for export to Asian countries such as Japan and Australia, according to Europol.