The number of drug labs the police discovered and dismantled in the Netherlands nearly doubled in four years. In 2015, a total of 59 synthetic drug labs were dismantled. Last year there were 90, the Telegraaf reports based on police figures in the National Overview on Synthetic Drugs for 2019.
Amsterdam saw a 43 percent increase in the number of murder and manslaughter cases last year, as well as a slight rise violent crimes. There was a decrease in most forms of property crimes, with a significant drop in picpocketing and theft from a vehicle, according to figures the Amsterdam municipality and police released on Monday.
Customs officers found approximately 1 thousand kilograms of cocaine during a check at the port of Rotterdam on Friday, February 7th. The drugs were hidden in a container loaded with bananas from Ecuador, the Public Prosecution Service said on Wednesday.
The cargo arrived at the port of Rotterdam early last week on a ship from Costa Rica. The bananas were destined for a company in Portugal. The Dutch authorities does not believe the Portuguese company had anything to do with the drug trafficking.
The drugs were confiscated and destroyed.
Lawyers and the Public Prosecution Service (OM) clashed in a hearing against three Mexican men and 66-year-old Breda skipper Cor B. in a case surrounding an allegedly booby-trapped meth lab found on a boat in Moerdijk last year.
Roelf B., a Dutch athlete in custody in Hungary for drug trafficking after he was caught selling drugs at a festival there, expressed regret for his actions. He said that he only sold the drugs because he wanted to help his childhood friend Gert-Jan N., a second Dutch man in custody for drug trafficking, the Volkskrant reports based on a statement B. gave to the Hungarian Public Prosecution Service.
The police registered a total of 21,302 trafficking related crimes in 2019, an increase of over 16 percent compared to the year before. The increase was mainly due to a spike in weapons trafficking and drug trafficking, according to an initial analysis of crime statistics released on Wednesday.
The police noticed a striking increase in young offenders over the past year, according to annual figures released on Wednesday. More and more young people are turning to online fraud to make some quick cash, or walking around with weapons on the street - a worrying development, according to National Police Chief Erik Akerboom.
Giermo B., one of the suspects in the murder of defense attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam last year, has a long criminal record. He previously spent years in prison for two armed robberies and assaulting a prison employee, RTL Boulevard reports based on its own research.
Four separate shipments of cocaine were found by Customs officials at the Port of Rotterdam over the past week. All told, officials captured 1,457 kilograms of cocaine, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said.
All of the cocaine made its way to the Netherlands from Brazil. The drugs were later destroyed, the OM said.
It started on December 12 when Customs officers found 450 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a shipment of grit used in the concrete industry. Another 500 kilograms of the drug was found frozen inside barrels of concentrated fruit pulp.
Coalition party D66 wants to legalize soft drugs and ecstasy in order to reduce health risk and drug crime. The party is approaching Dutch celebrities to support a national drug manifesto it is working on, newspaper AD reports based on a message D66 leader Rob Jetten sent to crime journalist Peter R. de Vries, actress Anna Drijver, and criminal lawyer Gerard Spong, among others.
In the investigation into the criminal organization allegedly run by Ridouan Taghi, who was arrested in Dubai on Monday, the Dutch police raided eight homes and arrested six people on Tuesday night. The suspects are five men and a woman between the ages of 29 and 45 years, the police said on Wednesday.
The punishments judges in the Netherlands imposed last year were 11 percent higher than 20 years ago, according to a study by the Council for the Judiciary. Perpetrators of violent crimes and sex crimes in particular are punished more harshly, while drug crimes are punished less harshly.
Four banks teamed up with the Dutch government and authorities to fight against financial service providers who launder money for criminals, Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday based on information from an anonymous source.
According to FD, ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank and Volksbank signed a covenant with the National Police, the FIOD, the Public Prosecution Service, and financial intelligence unit FIU. This "serious crime task force" will focus on upper world lackeys who facilitate undermining crime.
Amsterdam is taking drastic measures in an attempt to cope with capacity problems at the police. A number of specialized police teams will be disbanded, so that more attention can be paid to basic police work, mayor Femke Halsema said in a letter to the city council.
The police arrested a 57-year-old Italian man in The Hague on Monday based on a European arrest warrant. He is wanted for drug trafficking and membership to a criminal organization, the police said. Newspaper AD identifies the suspect as Alfredo M., allegedly affiliated with the Camorra crime syndicate in Naples.
The Italian authorities believes that M. formed part of an international network that smuggled cocaine and hashish from Spain and the Netherlands to Italy, according to AD. The gang had a foothold in a restaurant in The Hague, which was run by two brothers from Naples.
Riduouan Taghi, considered the most wanted fugitive criminal in the Netherlands, is likely staying on Kish - an island in the Persian Gulf, an about two-hour boat ride from Dubai, the Telegraaf reports based on "multiple sources" within and outside the investigative services. The Netherlands has no extradition treaty with Kish.
In July the Telegraaf wrote that Taghi was "almost certainly" hiding in Dubai.
On Monday the police made four more arrests in the investigation into the organized crime family in Noord-Brabant allegedly run by Martien R. That means that a total of seven suspects are now in custody, including Martien R. himself.
Early this month the Dutch and Australian police dismantled a large drug network responsible for trafficking MDMA from the Netherlands to Australia. A total of 850 kilograms of MDMA powder and 550 liters of MDMA oil were seized - enough to make more than 15 million ecstasy pills, according to the Australian Federal Police. The Dutch police arrested eight suspects. One suspect was arrested in Australia.
On Thursday the police continued raids against the "Godfather of Noord-Brabant" Martien R. and his family by closing down and searching a caravan park in Lith. The intensive search was stalled by the discovery of an explosive. Police officers asked members of the press to stay at a distance while explosive experts from the Ministry of Defense were called in to investigate, Omroep Brabant and De Telegraaf report.
The Amsterdam police's investigation team that deals with serious and organized crime is being disbanded due to staff shortages. The around 30 police officers who work in the team will be transferred to other departments by the end of the year, AD reports.
All coffeeshops throughout the Netherlands must refuse to serve tourists, according to coalition party ChristenUnie. Parliamentarian Stieneke van der Graaf called on Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security to get municipalities to arrange for their coffeeshops to ban people who do not live in the Netherlands, AD reports.
The fact that many municipalities, like the big cities, allow coffeeshops to sell to tourists makes the Netherlands "known as a country where you can use drugs and enjoy yourself", Van der Graaf said. She wants to get rid of that reputation.
Increasing trust issues between police officers in the National Unit is putting the intelligence work this police service is responsible for at serious risk, newspaper NRC reports based on conversations with people involved. The intelligence gathered by the National Unit is used for tackling terrorism and serious crime, including drug trafficking from Spain and Colombia.
The police tackled what they call a "criminal family network" in Oss, Noord-Brabant on Wednesday. Three men, believed to be the leaders of this criminal network, were arrested. During searches at a caravan camp and other places in Oss, the police found and confiscated automatic firearms, drugs and cash. Possible explosives were also found.
Defense attorney Derk Wiersum was watched and followed by multiple cars weeks before he was murdered at his Amsterdam home on September 18th, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.