It was the daily Le Soir and the weekly Knack that investigated the practice. Belgium is one of the world’s leading producers of synthetic drugs like amphetamines produced in illegal drug labs in isolated sheds or abandoned farms. Crystal meth is a hard drug that creates a feeling of euphoria but is highly addictive and destructive for users.
“Nine labs where crystal meths was produced were dismantled in Belgium” explains Kristof Clerix of Knack. “A first crystal meth lab was discovered in Antwerp Province in 2018, but several others have been exposed in Limburg, usually on the border.”
Often there is a link with the Netherlands. In the Netherlands 32 labs have been discovered this year alone. Police gained access to the encrypted messaging service EncroChatis and managed to read secret messages that revealed the link between Mexican drug cartels and the Low Countries. Underworld figures ensure Mexican drugs experts can be flown in to produce 100% pure methamphetamine.
The VAD, the Flemish centre that specialises in collecting expertise on drugs, points to the use of crystal meth by one particular group: men using crystal meth to make their sexual experiences far more intense, chemsex in other words. “Apparently men are meeting up for a weekend of drugs and sex” explains Clerix.