Lawyer: Prosecutor withheld crucial info in case around corrupt customs officer
The Public Prosecutor withheld information in the case around 300 kilos of cocaine smuggled from Costa Rica to Rotterdam in 2013, according to the lawyer of suspect Dennis van den B. Customs officer Gerrit G. is also a suspect in this case. If the Prosecutor shared this information, at least two assassinations could have been prevented, the lawyer said in court on Monday, NU.nl reports.
The case revolves around about 300 kilograms found in a shipment of pineapples from Costa Rica in Rotterdam on December 9th, 2013. This discovery triggered the investigation into 54-year-old customs officer Gerrit G., who is suspected of systematically allowing drug-filled containers into the port of Rotterdam in exchange for money. Van den B., 44 from Rotterdam, is suspected of money laundering and weapons possession.
According to the lawyer, an European arrest warrant shows that the Prosecutor already launched an investigation into a group of Colombians suspected of cocaine smuggling in 2012. A load was monitored by the police and a so-called "controlled delivery" was arranged. The police wanted to trace who was responsible for the drug smuggling. This information was never added to the file, the lawyer said.
If the Prosecutor shared this information, at least two assassinations could have been prevented, according to Van den B.'s lawyer. Fruit trader Rinus M. was shot dead in April 2014, because he was held responsible for the loss of the cocaine in December 2013. And in January 1st, Rob Zweekhorst was gunned down after being mistaken for Dennis van den B.
The trial was postponed until December 14th, when the Public Prosecutor will respond to these allegations.