Suspects could face up to 7 years in prison for abducting wrong man in Cruquius
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) demanded up to seven years in prison against eight of the ten men suspected of abducting a 56-year-old man from Hoofddorp in Cruquius in 2021. The other two suspects will stand trial next month. According to the OM, the suspects kidnapped the man, threatened him, and held him hostage for six days, even though they had doubts about whether he was their intended target. He wasn’t.
The OM demanded unconditional prison sentences of 5.5 years against seven men and 7 years against the eighth. He is also suspected of extorting and threatening another suspect.
The abduction happened at 6:00 p.m. on 5 August 2021 on Spaarneweg in Cruquius, Noord-Holland. Witnesses saw the suspects corner the victim, force him out of his car, and push him into a stolen red van. Inside, they blindfolded the man, tied him up, and threatened to shoot him. “Although doubts arose during the ride whether the victim was the intended target, the abduction went ahead,” the OM said.
The suspects released the man during the early hours of August 11. They left him on a street in a residential area in Delft. He wasn’t the man the suspects had been looking for.
The police arrested six of the ten suspects in Gouda on the day of the abduction, thanks to information from alert witnesses noticing men changing cars' license plates. The other four suspects came into the picture later.
“Criminal offenses such as these, in this case with an added mistaken identity and a random person becoming the victim, cause feelings of insecurity in society in general and among the victim himself and his family in particular,” the prosecutors said in the court at Schiphol on Friday. “The only appropriate response from society to this type of behavior is a significant, unconditional prison sentence.”
According to the OM, all suspects made an important contribution to the abduction and the preparation for the crime. They consciously worked together, visiting each other often and carrying out several scouting missions in the victim’s area in the days before the abduction. “Given the tasks that the suspects took on and the intensity of the cooperation, it is inevitable that the suspects also knew exactly what the goal was, namely, kidnapping the victim.” They are, therefore, equally accountable.
The suspects never considered for a moment what impact their actions would have on the victim and his loved ones. “The victim is fortunate that he escaped unscathed. That is not due to the suspects arrested on August 5. They did not open up about the matter, which meant that the police were unable to find and free the victim,” the prosecutors said. The victim’s partner spent six days in complete uncertainty about whether he was alive. She is also a victim, they said.
The court will rule on October 20th. The other two suspects will stand trial on October 3 and 5.