Moroccan exchange student missing in Amsterdam

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New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie). (New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie))

Update, 14:30, 7 June 2019: The teenager's case was no longer considered a missing person case according to information published by the police department. His name and photograph were removed from the article for privacy reasons following the update from the police.

The police were urgently looking for a 14-year-old exchange student from Morocco who disappeared in Amsterdam during the early hours of Wednesday morning. "His supervisors are very concerned about his wellbeing", the police said, adding that the boy only speaks Arabic and doesn't know the Netherlands particularly well.

Mohammed left the Amsterdam host family's home where he had been staying at around 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. He had a suitcase with him and was wearing a black quilted jacket, dark gray sweatpants, Nike sneakers, and a gold and red T-shirt with glitter. 

There are indications that the boy went to Germany, a police spokesperson said to Het Parool. "He has been in contact with his sister in Norway. From those messages we conclude that he is no longer in the Netherlands. He is likely in Germany", the spokesperson said "It seems like a preconceived plan, in the hope that he can stay in Europe."

A total of 15 pupils participated in the exchange program with the Spinoza Lyceum in Amsterdam, according to the Amsterdam newspaper. The other pupils returned to Morocco on Wednesday. 

Rector Jan Paul Beekman called this a very unpleasant situation. "This is not a scenario that you think of in advance. You prefer that the children have a good time and return safely." The high school rector is in close contact with the family was staying with. According to him, they are also very shocked by the boy's disappearance. 

The Spinoza Lyceum has been organizing exchanges with foreign schools for some time. "It's always gone well, something like this has never happened before", Beekman said. The Amsterdam pupils visited Morocco earlier this year, and that went well. The school board will soon meet to discuss the situation. "But it is too early to say that we will never organize an exchange again."

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