Amsterdam's 2015 homicide figures could hit record low point

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No image availableNL Times

If no one else is murdered in Amsterdam this week, the number of murders in the city this year will be at a record low of just 15, Het Parool reports.

The previous record was 16 murders in 2012. In that year the counter seemed to be a record low of 14, but two more victims were added on December 29th in the Staatsliedenbuurt double assassinations. Last year 24 people died as a result of murder or manslaughter, in 2013 there were 23. The highest number of murders and manslaughters was in 1998, with 65 deaths.

Despite the ongoing series of gang related assassinations, there were relatively few murders in the city over the past years. In particular the number of deaths resulting from domestic violence and quarrels that got out of hand dropped, seemingly for no reason.

There is still one ongoing investigation into the death of a 35 year old Swede, whose body was recently found in a "sex room" on Filips van Almondestraat in De Baarsjes. The autopsy was inconclusive on a cause of death, so it is still unclear whether he was murdered.

While there were a number of Amsterdam gang related assassinations over 2015, only a few of them happened in the city itself. Mario Magan Tier was gunned down in his car on Bertelmanstraat in Zuid in February. In April Baris Onder was killed on S.F. van Ossstraat in Osdorp. His widow was shot at in the same area in June, but she survived the attacks.

Other Amsterdam criminals were killed elsewhere. Khalid Jaafar was killed in Panama, Marchano Pocorni was killed in Suriname, Eaneas Lomp was killed in Krommenie and Lucas Boom was assassinated in Zaandam.

Slightly more worrying is the "mistaken identity murders". On January 14th Beyhan Demirci was gunned down with bullets likely meant for her criminal son-in-law while smoking a cigarette on her balcony on Pieter van der Werfstraat. Two weeks later Ghanaian Augustine Nyantakyi fell to bullets intended for a criminal neighbor on Wobrantskerkweg. And more recently Turkish lawyer Haydar Zengin was killed at his desk on Derkinderenstraat. A week later another man was gunned down, but survived, in the same office building. Though the police have not confirmed this at all, it is generally believed that Zengin was mistaken for the second victim. According to family members, the two mean bore a striking physical resemblance.