Plan to assassinate another top Dutch crime journalist broken up by police: Report
The police arrested a 39-year-old man from Purmerend and a 26-year-old man from Eindhoven on suspicion of trafficking in drugs and firearms. They are also suspected of planning to assassinate crime journalist John van den Heuvel, sources told RTV Purmerend.
Van der Heuvel confirmed on Vandaag Inside on Friday that the authorities informed him of an attack planned against him. “I was called that two people were arrested on Tuesday, who spoke about me, among other things. They had my address details and wanted to know my passport number and citizen service number.” He said they also discussed crime reporter Mick van Wely and the now-deceased Peter R. de Vries.
According to the local broadcaster, the investigation into the two men started in September. The police tracked them down through recently decrypted chats on messaging service Sky ECC.
The suspects spoke about plans to assassinate Van den Heuvel in early 2021, multiple sources told the broadcaster. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) also did not deny this. “We have launched an investigation, and we will not say anything further,” a spokesperson said.
When searching the suspects’ homes, the police found and seized mobile phones, expensive watches, pepper spray, a firearm, parts of a gun, some ammunition, and hashish.
The suspects were recently arraigned and remanded into custody for another two weeks. They are in restricted custody, meaning they are only allowed contact with their lawyers.