New wave of assassinations in Netherlands raises concerns over 2017 murder rate

Crime scene tape
Crime scene tape. (Photo: Politie)

A new wave of assassinations seems to have hit the Nethelrands. In less than five weeks, four people were assassinated, two of them in this week, the Telegraaf reports.

Four assassinations in five weeks is a remarkably high number, given the fact that the average in the Netherlands is about eight a year. The high number is on par for the past three years. At least 60 assassinations were committed during this time. That massive increase is even more remarkable when you take into account that the total number of murders in the Netherlands decreased by about 30 percent since 2002.

Two of the four most recent assassinations happened in Brabant, in rencent years a frontrunner when it comes to crime, according to the newspaper. The most recent happened on Wednesday - a body was found in a burning car in the forrest near Tilburg. According to AD, the dictim is believed to be drug addict Leon V. He was supossed to appear in court on Thursday, but never showed. His lawyer could not reach him and according to the lawyer, V. was definitely planning to attend the hearing. His wife also does not know where he is. So far the police have not been able to identify the victim officially.

On Tuesday 25-year-old Justin Jap Tjon was gunned down in Amsterdam Osdorp. The motive behind his killing is still unclear. Jap Tjon did appear in the police systems, but not for crimes "you'd expect someone to be assassinated over", a spokesperson for the police said to Het Parool on Wednesday. 

The figures seem to show that organized crime is growing rapidly in the Netherlands, according to the Telegraaf. Another inidicator is the explosive growth in cocaine trafficking through the port of Rotterdam, where a record amount of over 13 thousand kilos of the drug was seized last year.