Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 17:45
Collections offices want protection after ISIS threats; Bailiffs skeptical
With reporting by Zack Newmark and Janene van Jaarsveldt. The Royal Association of Bailiffs (KBvG) wants the status of a bailiff to be taken more seriously, said Wilbert van de Donk, the president of the association. Van de Donk made that comment after letters containing powdery substances, with threatening text and an ISIS signature were sent to a number of debt collections offices in The Hague and Amsterdam. The letters claimed that the recipient was infected with heavy radioactive material upon opening the envelope. Some letters were written in sub-fluent Dutch, while others were written in English, all accusing the collection companies of sinning against Islam for taking action against mosques. "Bailiffs have been receiving letters with powder for a while," said Van de Donk. "However, the letters from ISIS are new." He suggests that police and prosecution take necessary legal action to protect bailiffs. "Bailiff is also a public official and should therefore be given same protection as an [law enforcement] agent." The authors also threatened the relatives of the recipients if the debt collection agents did not leave their jobs. KBvG asked the police to do everything they could to identify the perpetrators. The police are investigating the letters, but currently they have few leads. "We are investigating who is behind this, but we do not assume that the letters are coming from ISIS," said a police spokesman. The police currently have little particular information about the origin of the letters, said the spokesman.