Cop gets 5 years for selling police info to criminals

The court in Den Bosch sentenced former police officer Mark M. to five years in prison on Monday afternoon. The 31-year-old man from Weert was found guilty of selling confidential police information to criminals for years, thereby earning at least 80 thousand euros. The sentence is equal to what the Public Prosecutor demanded.

M. was previously released from custody to await his trial in freedom and now lives in the Ukraine, according to NOS. He was not present in court to hear the verdict against him. The court ordered that he be arrested immediately, reports. The sentence against M. is unconditional. He is also banned from holding a public function for 10 years.

The former cop was found guilty of corruption, money laundering, violation of official secrecy, computer intrusion and participation in a criminal organization. He was only acquitted of bribery. According to the judge, he "seriously damaged the image of the police" and "seriously frustrated" a number of criminal investigations. 

According to the Prosecutor, M. had a kind of 'subscription' service running between 2011 and 2015, in which criminals paid him money in exchange for information on criminal investigations. The Prosecutor found 80 thousand euros in unexplained income, but believes that the actual amount may be much higher. 

M. always denied that he did anything wrong. According to him, the over 28 thousand searches he performed on internal police system BlueView were done as a hobby. And the unexplained income came from loans. 

M. started working for the police in 2009. He first worked as a detective, but was transferred to the traffic police after intelligence service AIVD refused to give him security clearance. After his transfer, his access to BlueView was not revoked, which meant that he could still access sensitive information for years after he lost clearance. M. was arrested in October 2015, and officially dismissed from the police in June 2016. 

Four other suspects in this case also heard the sentences against them on Monday. Marco S., believed to be the intermediary between M. and the criminals he sold information to, was sentenced to three years in prison, according. Three criminals suspected of buying police information from M. were given prison sentences of 12, 12, and 4 months respectively. A fourth was acquitted.