A tip off from Australian authorities has resulted in one of the biggest seizures of MDMA across two countries, worth more than $300 million.
Australian police contacted their Dutch counterparts in January, sparking a joint operation that has led to the breakdown of a drug syndicate believed to have supplied the global market.
It also prevented 700kg of crystalline MDMA from reaching Brisbane and potentially ending up in the bellies of high school leavers on the Gold Coast.
Australian Federal Police and Queensland police worked with officers in The Netherlands and Belgium to intercept the huge haul in the Dutch city of Rotterdam in late August.
Raids were carried out by Dutch authorities at 15 locations in those two countries earlier this month, uncovering drug labs disguised to look like barns from the outside.
Concealed within fake walls, floors and ceilings inside were hundreds of kilos of hard and liquid drugs and other drug paraphernalia.
In all, 850kg of crystalline MDMA was seized, along with 548 litres of MDMA oil and 400 litres of precursor chemicals.
That's enough to make 15 million MDMA pills with a street value of more than $300 million.
Authorities say Australia is a primary market in the global drug trade because Australians are willing to pay a high price for substances that cost a mere fraction elsewhere.
An MDMA pill that costs 20 cents in Amsterdam will fetch $20 on Australian streets.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has praised the efforts of Australian and Dutch authorities, saying their results would be a relief to parents whose kids could well have taken the drugs had they not been seized.
"Those people who tell you that we are losing the fight and the war against drugs don't know what they are talking about," he told reporters in Brisbane on Friday.
"We are pushing back on the scourge of serious and organised crime, and as we know the bikies in this country are the biggest distributors, importers, manufacturers of drugs."
Andy Kraag, the assistant commissioner of the Dutch National Criminal Investigation Division, said the two countries took their time to set a trap to catch individuals involved in the supply and demand.
"We want to target the complete chain, that's why it took us up a to a year," he said.
It brought down a major criminal network Mr Kraag says has previously supplied the global market.
"The joint operation allowed us to close down on these criminals and fully expose and break down this network," he added.
Police have charged 11 people including a 48-year-old woman from Bass Hill in Sydney.
She has been extradited to Brisbane accused of possessing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs - a charge that could see her jailed for life.
The arrests also include two Dutch men alleged to be key players in the drug ring, a 58-year-old arrested in Belgium and a 37-year-old nabbed in The Netherlands.
The investigation by Dutch authorities is ongoing.
© AAP 2019