Spanish police have arrested a retired pharmacist who had built a homemade laboratory for producing amphetamines in a remote village, from where it was then distributed throughout northern Spain.
In a case with echoes of US television series Breaking Bad, the Civil Guard says that it discovered the laboratory after trailing two small-time drug dealers in the town of Toro, a town in Zamora better-known for its wine-making. This led them to the village of Valdefinjas, a remote rural community of less than 100 inhabitants, where the 65-year-old former university lecturer had set up his laboratory.
He was making drugs from scratch, using chemical processes and material that are relatively easy to acquire”
“He was making drugs from scratch, using chemical processes and material that are relatively easy to acquire,” said a Civil Guard spokesman. Police found sulfuric acid, benzyl alcohol, ammonia, sodium carbonate, and other substances, along with sophisticated laboratory equipment at the homemade lab. After searching 12 other premises, they seized 150 grams of amphetamines, two kilograms of marijuana, and 50 grams of hashish, arresting a total of 14 people.
Describing the case of the homemade laboratory as “very unusual”, the police said that most amphetamines seized in Spain over the last year originated either in central Europe, or were produced in Africa, coming into Europe via Spain for domestic consumption, or heading on to the Netherlands.
In 2013, Spanish police confiscated more than half-a-million amphetamine tablets, a 121-percent increase on the previous year. The authorities say that the use of synthetic drugs such as speed and ketamine is on the rise.