Police prevent gangland prison break, Amsterdam criminal killed

On Wednesday night the police prevented a helicopter hijacking in Limburg. According to a statement released by the police, criminals from the Amsterdam underworld wanted to use this helicopter to break a convict out of the penitentiary in Roermond. During the police intervention in Roosteren, one suspect was shot by a member of a SWAT team. He died of his injuries. Three others were arrested.

NOS and AD report that the prisoner the criminals wanted to break out with the hijacked helicopter, is Amsterdam criminal Benaouf A. - a leader in one of two criminal gangs that have been involved in numerous gangland assassinations since 2012. A. is currently serving a 12 year prison sentence in the Roermond penitentiary for involvement in an assassination in Antwerp in 2012. The police would not confirm or deny this to NU.nl.

The Amsterdam police got wind of plans for this prison break during an ongoing investigation. A SWAT team prevented the helicopter hijacking. There was a high-speed chase which ended in three suspects being arrested, and a fourth being shot and killed by a police officer. During the chase, one suspect dropped a long case in which the police found parts for an automatic firearm. 

In addition to the firearm parts, the police also found items "that would aid in the escape attempt or allow their flight".

The police are still searching for a number of other suspects. Their identities are known to the police. All suspects are connected to the Amsterdam underworld, according to the police.

According to NU.nl, in addition to the police action in Roosteren, there was also one in Maarheeze, Noord-Brabant. The police performed investigations in both these areas. 

In 2016 Benaouf A. was sentenced on appeal to 12 years in prison for involvement in the assassination of Amsterdam criminal Najib Bouhbouh in Antwerp in 2012. Bouhbouh was a close friend of Gwenette Martha, the leader of a rival gang in the Amsterdam underworld who was himself assassinated in 2014. Two months after Bouhbouh's death, there was a double assassination in Amsterdam's Staatsliedenbuurt, believed to be revenge for Bouhbouh's murder. These three deaths are considered the start of the Amsterdam gang war, which in the years since resulted in the deaths of dozens of Amsterdam criminals and a handful of innocent bystanders. 

The Rijksrecherche - the department that handles internal investigations in the police - will investigate the fatal shooting. It is standard procedure for the Rijksrecherche to investigate all incidents in which a police officer fires his or her service weapon.