No positive ID could set Amsterdam fake cocaine dealer free

Man suspected of selling white heroin as cocaine in Amsterdam (Picture: Politie). (Man suspected of selling white heroin as cocaine in Amsterdam (Picture: Politie))

The Public Prosecutor in Amsterdam seems to be back to square one after 6 witnesses have recounted not being able to recognise 42-year-old cocaine dealer Flip S., the man authorities say was responsible for sickening at least three people by giving them white heroin instead of cocaine. His lawyer, Gerald Roethof, has called for the suspect's provisional release from custody.

S. was remanded into custody by a magistrate after prosecutors presented initial aspects of their case to the court. The suspect turned himself in to police, after images of him were broadcast on a national police "most wanted" television show. He claims that he was not aware that he was selling white heroin, and says he obtained the goods from another supplier.

The six tourists asked to identify S. were witnesses from Australia, Ireland and Britain. Two British tourists also refused to cooperate with the investigation, Roethof said.

The suspect is being investigated after the deaths of three British tourists between September 14, 2014 and November 26, 2014, three Danish holiday-makers who were hospitalized after using the drugs they purchased on the street. At least another 12 ended up in hospital.

Since the tourist deaths the Netherlands has started a vigorous campaign using illuminated matrix boards and flyers warning tourists of the drugs, as well as low cost drug testing kits.

A spokesperson from the Prosecutors office told the Parool that the fact the suspect turned himself in after the release of the images is explanation enough for them to want to detain him for a longer period.