Drugs-related crime costs Dutch society between €3.2bn and €4.1bn a year, according to a new report drawn up on behalf of the justice ministry.

The report looks at the cost to legal system, but also at the medical, social and economic costs of drugs crime.

In total, combating illegal drugs costs the police some €1.1bn to €1.6bn a year while court cases and prisons add almost a billion more to the total bill. Research suggests that 20% of all people spending time in prison have a link to the drugs trade.

Addiction costs society a further €250m a year, while €520m is spent on unemployment and other benefits for people unable to work because of their drugs use.

The economic aspects are also considerable, the report shows, with banks spending €550m on stamping out money laundering.

The government has pledged to spend an extra €500m to tackle the impact of organised crime, particularly the infiltration of drugs gangs into legitimate companies and institutions.