Corrupt cop claims entrapment in police data leak arrest

Lady Justice (Photo: Roland Zumbuehl/Wikimedia Commons)
. Lady Justice (Photo: Roland Zumbuehl/Wikimedia Commons)

The trial against former police officer suspected of selling police information to criminals, was delayed until at least December so that other witnesses can be questioned. In court on Tuesday M. said that he searched the police database as a "hobby", though refused to explain how the data he searched for ended up in criminal hands. He also claims that the police lured him into a trap when he was arrested, the Volkskrant reports

"Some people are on Dumpert [a Dutch video site, similar to YouTube] all day. I was on BlueView", M. said in court. BlueView is the police's confidential information system. It contains information about suspects, investigations and such things. M., who always made use of his right to remain silent in the past, was willing to talk in court on Tuesday. But he still refused to answer questions about why he searched for certain cases, or how the information he searched for ended up with criminals. He did tell the court that he was a police officer for his ideals - he wants to protect society from the 'bad guys'.

M. searched the BlueView system 28.521 times. He had 'subscriptions' to 52  cases, which means he received a notification if anything changed on the case or information was added. According to the Public Prosecutor, 44 of those subscriptions were not related to any cases M. worked on. 

M. started working at the police in 2009. In 2011 intelligence service AIVD " so that he could be permanently appointed, because M. had contacts in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, he was somehow given a permanent contract in 2013. 

The Public Prosecutor believes M. sold information gotten from the BlueView system to criminals. He made an estimated 800 thousand euros with this sideline business of his, according to the Prosecutor. 

Despite delaying the trial for witnesses to be heard, the court decided to discuss a number of matters in the file. One such was how M. was caught. The police accidentally stumbled onto an information leak during an investigation into a suspicious car dealer in Tilburg in May 2015. Hidden on a computer they found 15 PDF files with names corresponding to investigations on the police system. An investigation was launched and the police discovered that Mark M. "exported" those exact files. A further investigation revealed that M. also viewed and copied a large number of other files. These files often involved in Noord-Brabant. 

The police then launched an undercover operation. Two undercover cops, called A69 and A70 in the file, approached M. and his then Ukrainian wife while they were vacationing in Curacao. A69, pretending to be a rich diamond dealer from South Africa, focused on M. while A70 focused on his wife. Mark M. told A69 that he could look up information about people on the police system. A69 asked him if he would see if he was in the system, offering to pay 400 dollars for this service. M. said he would, but refused the payment, calling it an "investment for the future". According to the undercover agents, he said this several times. 

Once back in the Netherlands, M. handed confidential police information to A69. A day later, he was arrested.

M. accused the police of "literally leading him into a trap". According to him, he felt "psychologically pressured" to do something "he should never have done" and now regrets. "This is the most pronounced form of entrapment." he said. 

Tags: