Police: Amsterdam coffee shop shootings may be connected

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New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie). (New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie))

The police believe that six shootings at Amsterdam coffeeshops in less than a year's time may be connected, a spokesperson said to the Telegraaf. According to the police, it is "unlikely" that it involves six separate incidents.  As to a motive behind the shootings, the police are considering two scenarios, according to the newspaper. It could be extortion, for example forcing owners to buy drugs only from a particular organization. Or it could simply be "eliminating the competition" by forcing the coffeeshops to close. Coffeeshop Blue Lagoon on Overtoom was closed down on Wednesday following a shooting early that morning. Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan concluded that it posed a risk to public order and safety. In September coffeeshop Greenplace was closed down after a shooting. So was DNA on Achillesstraat after the second shooting at the establishment this year.

In May multiple shots were fired at coffeeshop Jabba the Hutt in Amsterdam-Zuid. De Kroon in Amsterdam-Zuid was shot at in January and The Power on Sarphatistraatwas targeted in February. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan decided toshut them down indefinitely. In November last year coffeeshops on Krugerstraatand Gerard Doustraatwere the targets of drive-by shootings.