'Larges Dutch criminal investigation' finds corruption among Amsterdam police
The national criminal investigation department arrested a 30-year-old officer of the Amsterdam police department on suspicion of corruption. He is said to have sold information to criminals. An investigating judge decided on Friday that the man would remain in jail for at least two more weeks. He has been charged with breach of confidentiality, cyber fraud, and bribery, reports newspaper AD.
The officer appeared on the radar of the investigative services through the analysis of intercepted messages from the Encrochat encryption service, whose computer server was seized in France on June 12, 2020. This happened after the investigation team had been following the communication between the officer and external parties since April 1, 2020.
This led to the largest Dutch criminal investigation ever.
According to the head of the National Criminal Investigation Department, Andy Kraag, this concerns at least 25 million messages that were relevant to the Netherlands. More than a hundred investigations are still ongoing.
In the large-scale wiretapping operation under code name 26Lemont, cases of corruption surfaced. Furthermore, the investigation found other serious crimes such as murders, kidnappings, large-scale drug trafficking, even torture, and the establishment of a torture complex in West Brabant.
Several criminal investigations are still taking place, especially concerning the leakage of research data to criminals.
Chief of the National Police, Henk van Essen, announced in September that he would prioritize screening the huge pile of messages in search of clues of corruption. The police do not want to say how many suspects have now been arrested and how many of them are Amsterdam police officers.
According to Van Essen, the large Encrochat investigation makes it clear that corruption "is unmistakably present" and that this corruption is increasing rather than decreasing in size.
"I am not necessarily shocked, but I do find the signals serious and worrisome. On the other hand, Encrochat also shows that no one is untouchable," said Van Essen.
Incidentally, it is not only about corrupt police officers. "Criminals look for strategic points, such as information hubs. Information is valuable to them. Police officers are located at such intersections and are therefore attractive 'targets', but we see that criminals are also looking for such places outside the government, for example, at companies. "