Police in the Netherlands say a former riding school near a sleepy village housed the biggest cocaine lab they've ever uncovered. Police announced Tuesday that 17 arrests had been made in connection with a raid on the cocaine "laundry" in the northern village of Nivejeen, the Guardian reports. Police spokesman Andre van Rijn told reporters that based on the number of people who worked at the facility, the layout, and the production equipment, investigators believe the converted riding school could have produced up to 440 pounds of cocaine a day. Accommodation for workers was found in the stables.
Police say they seized equipment, around 100 pounds of cocaine, and tens of thousands of pounds of chemicals, the BBC reports. At a different location, they found more than 100 tons of "carrier material," mostly clothing, that had been impregnated with cocaine that could be removed with the use of chemicals. Police say 13 of the 17 people detained were Colombian citizens, along with one Turkish national and three Dutch citizens, including the 64-year-old owner of the riding school building and stables. Neighbors say the man, a registered horse dealer and breeder, lived in a building on the site with his 92-year-old mother and was regularly seen in the village. (Read more Netherlands stories.)