Utrecht top cop bribed by wanted criminal: report

Ridouan Taghi
Ridouan TaghiPhoto: Politie

A high-ranking police officer from Utrecht was bribed to work as a corrupt contact for the gang around fugitive criminal Ridouan Taghi, newspaper AD reports after seeing statements made by key witness Nabil B., who worked in this same criminal organization for some time. 

According to the newspaper, the police officer was paid thousands of euros to search the police systems for specific persons or photographs and hand it over to the gang. This happened multiple times. The national police investigated the allegations made by Nabil B. and this led to "a number of serious suspicions" against the Utrecht cop, AD writes. He was dismissed two weeks ago, according to an email from the police that the newspaper saw. 

The police would not confirm this report. Though a police spokesperson did tell NOS that an Utrecht police officer was notified of his dismissal a week and a half ago, and that the Midden-Nederland police and Rijksrecherche are investigating him.

The key witness also testified about a corrupt official, who worked as an enforcement officer at a company that carries out parking checks and issues parking permits for the municipality of Amsterdam, according to AD. Nabil B. told the authorities that this enforcement officer was his oldest brother's girlfriend. B. gave her license plate numbers, which she used to look up the owner's name and number. She received between 100 and 150 euros each time she did so, according to the newspaper. One of the license plates she looked up, was that of the car crime blogger Martin Kok drove when he was murdered. 

"Well informed sources" also told AD that a police officer in Amsterdam recently came into the picture for leaking police information to the gang around Taghi. This Amsterdam cop was not mentioned by the key witness, but was identified through internal investigation by the police. According to the newspaper's sources, this officer searched the police systems at weird times and investigation showed that the searches were always related to Taghi.

The police "fiercely contest" this allegation as "pertinently wrong", according to NOS.

Nabil B. turned key witness after his involvement in the murder of Hakim Chengachi in 2017. His conscious got the better of him after it turned out that Chengachi was not the target of the hit, that he had been mistaken for the actual target. B. linked Taghi and his right-hand man Saïd Razzouki to a number of underworld assassinations. Last week the Public Prosecutor officially charged the two fugitives with orchestrating and complicity in at least three assassinations.

A week after B. turned witness in March 2018, his brother Reduan was murdered at his Amsterdam business. The police and Public Prosecutor acknowledged that they misjudged the risks B.'s family faced after he turned witness. According to Het Parool, the authorities knew since 2017 that Taghi was out for revenge against those who betrayed him.