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Vast majority of proceeds from Dutch cocaine trade going abroad


Vast majority of proceeds from Dutch cocaine trade going abroad

In 2021, illegal activities generated 17 billion euros in the Netherlands, most of which ended up abroad. Cocaine trade accounted for the biggest part of those illegal earnings, according to new estimates by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) about the impact of illegal activities in the national accounts.

In 2021, 10.7 billion euros were earned within Dutch borders through the cocaine trade. Nearly 90 percent of those proceeds flowed abroad.

Many activities surrounding the international drug trade in the Netherlands are led by order-givers who are not Netherlands residents. “The trade in and production of drugs, therefore, partly fall outside the Dutch economy, with Dutch residents only providing services abroad. Only the revenues from those services are included in the Dutch economy,” CBS said.

CBS looked at the production and trade of cocaine, synthetic drugs, and illegal tobacco. It also examined cannabis and prostitution, both the illegal aspects and the legal and tolerated parts. In 2021, these illegal activities added 4.5 billion euros to the Dutch economy, amounting to 0.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

With cocaine, only 10 percent of earnings contributed to the Dutch economy, amounting to 1.2 billion euros. A third of the 3.2 billion euros earned through synthetic drugs stayed in the Netherlands.

The production of and trade in cannabis generated 1.6 billion euros in the Netherlands in 2021, and most of that money (1.4 billion euros) stayed in the country. All of the money generated by prostitution and illegal tobacco stayed in the Netherlands. Together, these two activities contributed 1 billion euros to the Dutch economy in that year.

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