Aug 24 - Dutch police discover 7,000 kg marijuana stash

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Amsterdam police have found 7,000 kg of marijuana and hashish in a warehouse near Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, with an estimated street value of 40 million euros (32.8 million pounds).

Police said Tuesday it found the cache on August 17 after arresting a 35-year-old man on suspicion of selling narcotics. They also held his girlfriend and the person who rented the storage space in a warehouse.

The Netherlands has about 700 "coffee shops" where the sale of marijuana is tolerated, each allowed to have 500 grams in stock -- meaning the stash could supply them all 20 times over.

Photos on the police website show a shipping container filled with cardboard boxes, each box stuffed with tightly wrapped bricks of pot and hash.

Small quantities of soft drugs like marijuana are legal to possess under Dutch law, but trafficking in massive quantities is still a serious crime.

Dutch police have made a number of drug seizures this year as smugglers get increasingly creative in trying to get drugs through the country's cargo transit points - Schiphol and the port in Rotterdam.

Large busts this year included drugs hidden in shipments of whisky from Jamaica, pineapples from Panama and roses from Colombia.

($1=.7910 Euro)

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