Police arrest suspected cocaine gang leader in Amsterdam
Police in Amsterdam have arrested a 43-year-old man accused of leading an organization involved in cocaine trafficking. The Amsterdammer was arrested on the street in Buitenveldert at the beginning of April, but the police just made the arrest known to the public on Tuesday.
The man is suspected of being connected to several large cocaine shipments from South America to the Netherlands in 2020. According to the police, thousands of kilograms of cocaine were transported.
The information about the shipments emerged in messages intended to be sent through the secret communications platform Sky ECC, which was taken offline in part because of an investigation announced by Dutch authorities in March 2021. Consequently, investigation services have obtained millions of encrypted messages from criminals.
The police did not announce the arrest earlier because the suspect was in restricted custody. As a result, he was refused contact with all others, except his legal representation.
Investigators discovered exclusive luxury goods and jewelry during searches in homes in Amstelveen and Amsterdam-Zuid, which had a connection to the suspect. The value of the goods was set at more than half a million euros, police said.
Two armored vehicles in which the suspect was traveling were also seized. He said he used the vehicles because police informed him that he was on a hit list. A police spokesperson confirmed that this was the case, and that he was notified.
The man shuffled between homes in the Netherlands, Morocco, and Dubai, where, according to the police, he "apparently had a very luxurious lifestyle.”
Reporting by ANP.