Amsterdam cops arrest 55 in Red Light District case targeting street drug dealers
Police in Amsterdam arrested 55 people during an operation targeting drug dealers working on the streets in De Wallen, the old city center which includes the Red Light District. Two other people were also detained at the scene, written up, and released during the police operation last weekend.
Some of the suspects were taken into custody for dealing fake drugs and real drugs. Others were also accused of a variety of offences, including mugging, conspiring with others to commit theft, pickpocketing, disturbing the peace, failure to present identification, or the ban against carrying knives.
The police said 39 people were given an area ban preventing them from re-entering De Wallen for a specific period of time. "The street trade in fake and real drugs causes a lot of crime and nuisance in the city center," police said, pointing out that this is especially the case in De Wallen. "Street dealers loiter on the streets, harass visitors and often behave aggressively. The police regularly crack down on street dealers."
The case included assistance by uniformed and undercover police officers working in the area from May 26 - 28. They were joined by officers from IND, the Dutch immigration office. Aside from making the arrests and confiscating both real and fake drugs, an unspecified amount of money was seized.
Cases were often handled promptly, with the Public Prosecution Service able to render an immediate decision in some cases, or give a summons for a rapid hearing to be held soon after the arrest.