The Netherlands is headed towards its second straight year of sales growth in legal fireworks, the Dutch Association of Pyrotechnics told Nu.nl. Sales have risen dramatically, with an expected turnover increase of ten percent, the association said.
The police found a thousand kilograms of illegal fireworks in a garage on Tichlerstraat in IJsselmuiden on Sunday, after receiving an anonymous tip. Two men were arrested, the Overijssel police said on Twitter.
"The fireworks were therefore stored in the middle of a residential neighborhood", the police said, calling the situation "life-threateningly dangerous".
Police in the Netherlands made two separate stops that led to a combined discovery of over 2,700 kilograms of illegal fireworks. Roughly two thousand kilograms was found after a 29-year-old in Enschede was found carrying boxes of the explosives to his car.
The man was quickly detained, allowing police to open an investigation into how he obtained the fireworks. That led police to two separate locations where the illegal material was discovered.
Traders in illegal fireworks are increasingly making use of drug routes to bring their products into the Netherlands, according to the police. The bigger chance of fireworks sent by mail being intercepted, means that these traders are looking for other ways to distribute illegal fireworks, the police said, NOS reports.
A 15-year-old boy was seriously injured while lighting illegal fireworks in Dongen, Noord-Brabant on Wednesday. "They boy will lose some fingers and possibly even a hand due to the accident", the Tilburg police said on Twitter.
Emergency services responded to the scene at around 4:00 p.m. The boy was lighting fireworks with two friends. As far as is known, the two friends were not hurt. What type of fireworks they were playing with, is not yet clear.
Two people were arrested this week after police discovered some 1,780 kilograms of illegal fireworks kept in a home and a storage space. The arrests were made after Wednesday morning raids in Bleiswijk and Nootdorp, Zuid-Holland.
An anonymous tip led police to the dealer’s home in Bleiswijk, police said. They kept the suspect under surveillance, building up evidence of the illicit handling of explosives.
Authorities in the Netherlands managed to confiscate 56,525 kilograms of illegal fireworks over the course of 2018, the Public Prosecutor revealed. The total far surpasses the amount seized in 2017 of 40,382.60 kilograms.
It represents a 40 percent increase. Several confiscations in the last week of the year pushed that number up by nearly 5,900 kilos.
The last week of the year represented the third-highest seizure of fireworks by Dutch authorities. Some 12,712 kilos were seized from November 12-18, and a little over 7,920 kg were taken between December 3-9.
The police discovered 200 kilograms of illegal fireworks during a check in the Gelderland village of Terschuur on Monday. A 28-year-old man from Poland was arrested, the police said in a statement.
Police officers noticed a somewhat battered car showing technical defects on the Uilengoor parking lot at around 11:00 a.m. The car also seemed to be heavily loaded - it was slumping through its axles, the police said. The officers decided to check the vehicle and found that the trunk was full of illegal fireworks.
The police tracked down 900 Instagram accounts on which illegal fireworks are sold. These accounts will be taken down in cooperation with Instagram over the coming days, the police said in a statement on Tuesday. The police are working on identifying the persons behind the accounts.
Police in the Noord-Holland town of Vijfhuizen found over 10,000 kilograms of fireworks stashed in a warehouse on Vijfhuizerdijk. Authorities said they were acting on an anonymous tip when they raided the facility.
The haul of illegal, heavy fireworks was so large, police said they needed two separate trucks to carry all of them away. Many of the fireworks were kept in boxes that identified F4-classification devices. Those are fireworks that are designated for professional use only.
The police want to oblige people caught with illegal fireworks throughout the year to report to the police over New Year's, in an effort to improve the safety of police officers and other emergency workers. Every New Year's there are incidents in which first responders are pelted with fireworks. The police reason that people can't throw illegal fireworks if they have to report to the police over New Year's, NOS reports.
A 39-year-old man killed in a fireworks explosion in Swifterbant on Saturday, was killed by a mortar bomb - a dangerous type of firework that is illegal in the Netherlands, NOS reports.
The police already suspected that the man was killed by illegal fireworks, and investigation revealed that it was a mortar.
The man lit the firework around 3:30 p.m. It exploded almost immediately. "The explosion that happened, became fatal for the man", the police said.
A heavily explosive firework caused the death of a 39-year-old man in Swifterbant, Flevoland on Saturday afternoon. Police suspect, but have not confirmed, that the explosive was illegal, a representative told newswire ANP.
The man was killed in front of at least one of his children, a teenaged neighbor, Damian, told De Telegraaf. "At first I thought he was unconscious, but that was not the case," he said, calling the victim "Jaap".
The police have too little manpower to check all signals about illegal fireworks, according to Gerrit van de Kamp of police union ACP. There are simply not enough police officers to go check every address where illegal fireworks are suspected, RTL Nieuws reports.
The police are intensively searching for illegal fireworks providers and buyers, but they can't keep up. "That stuff is traded across the entire country", Van der Kamp said. "The police want to check all suspicions, but the amount of work is too great."
The police discovered over 100 kilograms of fireworks, including an improvised firework bomb in a home on Klarendalseweg in Arnhem on Wednesday evening. Restaurant Sugar Hill, located below the home, was evacuated while an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team removed the bomb. A 26-year-old man from Arnhem was arrested, the police said on Twitter.
Anonymous tip line Report Crime Anonymously gave a record number of 16,900 tips through to the police last year. Thanks to these anonymous tips a total of 1,671 suspects were arrested and more than 1,100 crimes were solved or prevented, the tip line announced with its annual figures on Tuesday, ANP reports.
About one in three tips received by the hot line is eventually given through to the police. The majority of the tips were made by telephone and about a quarter came in online.
A total of 473 people were treated for firework injuries in the nearly 90 emergency departments in Dutch hospitals over New Year's, according to research done by NOS and VeiligheidNL. That is slightly less than the 480 people treated for fireworks injuries last year.
The decrease in fireworks injuries was much smaller this year than in the previous two years. In both 2015 and 2016 there was a 14 percent decrease, according to the broadcaster.
The Dutch police do not always keep to safety regulations when it comes to storing confiscated illegal fireworks, Omroep Brabant reports based on its own research. Officers often don't have the proper training and the cabinets used to store dangerous bangers do not meet the safety requirements. This already led to dozens of incidents, according to the broadcaster.
The Rotterdam police found and seized 1,800 kilograms of illegal fireworks after raids in Hoogvliet and Wezep on Wednesday morning. Four people were arrested, the police announced.
The raids were the result of a months-long investigation triggered by the arrest of two minors in Spijkenisse a few months ago. The two kids were in possession of illegal fireworks. Extensive investigation led the police to the two addresses in Hoogvliet and Wezep.
The Dutch police want parents to be more alert in checking their children and their children's friends for illegal fireworks, Ad Nieuwdorp, fireworks expert at the National Police, said to AD. He called parents "naive" when it comes to dangerous fireworks.
"A cobra is just a grenade and totally not comparable to the strikers and astronauts they themselves lit as a teenager" Nieuwdorp said to the newspaper. He added that a legal soft banger going off in a hand will leave a child with burns, an illegal banger wil blow the hand off.
Police in the Netherlands arrested a 30-year-old Rotterdam resident suspected of planning a terrorist-related crime, the Dutch public prosecutor revealed on Friday. The suspect had a Kalashnikov AK-47 with two full magazines when authorities conducted the investigation.
A large painting in the suspect’s home depicting a flag used by ISIS was found, as well as four boxes of highly explosive illegal fireworks. Several mobile phones were also seized, along with 1,600 euros.
So far the Dutch police seized 14 thousand kilograms of illegal fireworks, according to the Public Prosecutor's weekly fireworks barometer which started up in the second week of October. By this time last year, the police already seized over 32 thousand kilograms of illegal fireworks, ANP reports.
The Public Prosecutor thinks the decrease can be explained by the trade in illegal fireworks starting up later this year than usual. A number of previously illegal fireworks were also classified legal this year.
The German authorities confiscated 40 thousand kilograms of illegal fireworks believed to be destined for the Dutch market. The fireworks were found in bunkers in the Kleef area, just over the border from Nijmegen, which were raided at the request of the Dutch Public Prosecutor.