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.
The year 2019 was a busy one for the Netherlands, with elections and strikes, multiple high profile murders and shootings, and a summer full of heat records, severe storms and poisonous caterpillars. Here follows a review of the top ten stories of this year.
The head of the national cases division of the Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) is being put forward by top cop Erik Akerboom to become the Chief of Police in Rotterdam. If appointed by Royal Decree, Fred Westerbeke will take over on April 1.
The authorities in Dubai deported Ridouan Taghi to the Netherlands on Wednesday. The man considered to be one of the most wanted criminals in the Netherlands arrived on chartered plane, under guard of the Dutch police, during the early hours of Thursday morning, the Public Prosecutor said.
Before his capture this week, suspected drug lord and organized crime boss Ridouan Taghi was in the Arab emirate of Dubai since 2016, the Chief of Police there told Dutch news program Nieuwsuur. Taghi, sought by Dutch police for years in connection with the murders of nine people, was found hiding in a luxury villa in a new district of Dubai.
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.
Heavily armed police officers raided an apartment in Vianen on Tuesday night as part of the investigation into the criminal organization allegedly run by Ridouan Taghi, who was arrested in Dubai on Monday. Relatives of Taghi live in the apartment and his sister Nora was arrested, according to various Dutch media.
News of the arrest of suspected organized crime boss Ridouan Taghi brought a sense of pride and relief to officials in the Netherlands tasked with tracking down the fugitive. Taghi, who turns 42 later this week, is suspected of ordering nine assassinations and has given Dutch authorities the runaround for years while still controlling a vast criminal organization, police alleged.
The Court of Appeals sentenced 41-year-old Shurandy S. to 28 years in prison for the murder of Reduan B., the brother of key witness Nabil B., in Amsterdam last year. The court called S. "extremely cold, calculating, and merciless" in its ruling, NOS reports.
S. was previously sentenced to 20 years in prison. The appeal sentence is equal to what the Public Prosecutor demanded.
Police in the Netherlands announced the arrest of Ridouan Taghi on Monday. The 41-year-old wanted fugitive was taken into custody in Dubai, police said. The OM, the Dutch prosecution service, has requested the extradition of Taghi from Dubai.
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.
Amsterdam police investigating the murder of criminal defense attorney Derk Wiersum have arrested another man on suspicion of involvement in Wiersum's slaying. The suspect, identified by AD as a nephew of alleged crime boss Ridouan Taghi, is the third person police picked up this week as part of the case.
The police believe that fugitive Ridouan Taghi is part of a "super cartel" that controls around a third of the cocaine trade in Europe, AD reports based on police documents in its possession. Other members of this "super cartel" include leaders from the Italian, Irish and Bosnian mafias, the newspaper writes.
Wanted fugitive Ridouan Taghi ordered outlaw motorcycle gang Caloh Wagoh to commit murders on his behalf, the Public Prosecutor said on Friday in a proforma hearing against members of the biker gang.
With that statement, the Public Prosecutor linked two of the biggest murder cases currently ongoing in the Netherlands.
The police believe that a white delivery van was used as a getaway car after the murder of lawyer Derk Wiersum outside his home on Imstenrade in Amsterdam. Witness statements and video footage showed a white vehicle "similar to a Fiat Doblo" driving away from the area immediately after Wiersum was gunned down on Sepember 18th, the police said on Sunday.
The police are still no closer to catching the man who gunned down defense lawyer Derk Wiersum in front of his home in the Buitenveldert neighborhood of Amsterdam last week Wednesday. On Opsporing Verzocht on Tuesday, the police called on witnesses to come forward, especially people who noticed anything out of the ordinary in the neighborhood in the weeks before the shooting.
Fugitive Ridouan Taghi has been linked to two more murders, three attempted killings and ordering an attack on a spy shop in Nieuwegein, was revealed in a proforma hearing on Tuesday. The criminal group led by Taghi is now suspected of at least nine assassinations and a whole series of attempted murders and never executed murder plans, Het Parool reports.
After the murder of defense lawyer Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam last week, extra security measures were taken for dozens of people. These include judges and prosecutors involved in the case against Ridouan Taghi or related cases, sources told NOS.
A special anti-drug unit, based on the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be established in the Netherlands, Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus announced on Thursday after the murder of defense lawyer Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam. But more than that will be needed in the fight against organized crime, Eirk Heijdelberg, director of Willem Schrikker Youth Protection, said to broadcaster NOS.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is looking for more money to push into the fight against organized crime, he said on Thursday morning, one day after defense attorney Derk Wiersum was assassinated outside of his Amsterdam Home. "If we really want to achieve success over organized crime, we have to take an extra step", Grapperhaus said, Het Parool reports. "More than we have done so far, also if it means extra resources."
The Public Prosecution Service will keep using key witnesses, even after the murder of criminal law attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam on Wednesday morning. "We must continue to use the means of key witnesses, otherwise we will get no further in criminal cases. Continue in a motivated way", prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said to Nieuwsuur. He wants more options in the use of such suspects-turned-informants.
Authorities investigating the murder of criminal defense attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam have joined forces with Dutch counter-terrorism agency NCTV in the hunt for the perpetrator. Police are still searching for the suspect they believe to be responsible for the crime.