Dutch authorities released internationally sought criminal by mistake: report

Police guard in a detention center
Police guard in a detention centerPhoto: Politie

Terrence de V., an internationally sought fugitive for a murder in Suriname, was arrested with 140 kilos of cocaine in Amsterdam last year. But due to a mistake, the Dutch authorities did not know that De V. is wanted by the Suriname police. He was released to await his trial in freedom, and disappeared without a trace, Het Parool reports.

The Dutch police arrested 33-year-old Terence de V. and another suspect Kelvin C. on September 13th last year. The arrests were made in a flat on Elzenhagensingel in Amsterdam, where the police found 142 kilos of cocaine, three firearms, 100 thousand euros in cash and a number of expensive watches. A few days later a magistrate released De V. from custody to await his trial in freedom, after his lawyer claimed that De V. did not know about the cocaine. De V. fled and has not been seen since.

What the Dutch authorities did not know is that De V. is also a prime suspect in the murder of Melvin Zoutkamp in Paramaribo on July 3rd, 2014. Suriname placed De V. on Interpol's internationally wanted list in 2015, and he was on the list when he was arrested in Amsterdam. But alarm bells did not go off because he was not registered as internationally wanted, only as wanted in Suriname, a spokesperson fro the Amsterdam Public Prosecutor said to Het Parool. "At the time of his arrest in Amsterdam, De V. was a fugitive in Suriname, but ot in the Netherlands, and was not internationally signaled. That has since been rectified."

Had the Dutch authorities known that De V. was a fugitive wanted for murder, the magistrate would not have released him from custody, according to the newspaper.