New checks for Wilders' security detail but no crime gang involved

New checks for Wilders’ security detail but no crime gang involved

Everyone involved in the security around PVV leader Geert Wilders is to undergo a new screening, police chiefs said in a statement on Saturday. The new probe will involve everyone directly and indirectly linked to Wilders' security with the aim of ensuring 'no fact or situation goes unchecked', police said in a statement. The statement follows revelations last week about potential security leaks among several officials involved with Wilders' round the clock protection. Lawyer Peter Plasman has told current affairs show Nieuwsuur that Faris K, the security official arrested last week for leaking information, had not passed on information to a criminal gang as claimed in the media. Instead, K had been showing off about his work to impress two female friends, Plasman said. Wilders can be sure that he was in no danger, Plasman said. 'My client talks too much,' the lawyer said. No link The public prosecution department has confirmed that there was no link to a money-laundering gang and did not protest when judges released K from custody on Thursday. 'There is no indication so far that he shared information with a criminal organisation,' the department said. Faris was the subject of an investigation at the end of 2015 when he checked up on a car number plate that was not related to his work, Plasman said. On Friday it also emerged that two brothers who worked on the security detail had been suspended for 'financial irregularities' in 2015. They are still considered to be suspects but it is unclear if any charges have been brought against them. Wilders said in a reaction to the latest developments that the department charged with is security was 'a total mess'. He cancelled a planned walkabout in Volendam on Saturday saying he could not be sure that he and his team are safe.  More >

Court slams tax office over company cars

New checks for Wilders’ security detail but no crime gang involved The tax office must stop checking car number plates recorded on police motorway cameras in their efforts to catch people who cheat on their company car allowance, the supreme court said on Friday. There is insufficient provision in law to allow the tax office to use the scans to check if people are using company cars for private business, the court said. The court was judging three separate cases brought by people who were given a tax surcharge after officials said their cars were not where they should have been according to their kilometer log. Company car drivers have to pay extra tax if they use their vehicles to travel more than 500 km a year for private purposes and have to keep a log of their movements to prove it. Privacy The court ruled that using the motorway surveillance footage is a major infringement of people’s privacy and that there is no legal basis for the systematic collection, processing and storing of such information. Two cases were referred back to the lower courts to be reconsidered without the camera evidence. A third was thrown out altogether. Tax inspectors already use cars fitted with special scanners in an effort to track down people who use their company cars for private business. Festivals, out-of-town shopping centres, sports events and other popular destinations are targeted in particular.  More >

MPs back participation declaration plan

New checks for Wilders’ security detail but no crime gang involved MPs on Thursday voted in favour of requiring everyone who has to go through the compulsory integration process (inburgering) to sign a document declaring they will uphold Dutch values. The participatieverklaring – participation declaration – includes a commitment to 'respect' values, such as freedom of speech, and 'make an active contribution to Dutch society'. The measure still has to be approved by the upper house of parliament. Once it has senate approval, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher plans to make signing the contract compulsory from July 1. People who refuse to sign can be fined up to €340 and, eventually, refused residency rights. Refugee organisation VluchtelingenWerk has pointed out in the past that new arrivals are being asked to sign a document which not all Dutch nationals support or adhere to. D66 parliamentarian Paul van Meenen says that requiring new arrivals to sign the document is creating first and second class citizens. Labour minister ‘You would think it is a PVV law but it is from a Labour minister,’ Van Meenen told a radio programme on Thursday. The decision to press ahead with the contract follows what the government says are ‘successful trials’ of the concept in 13 councils between March 2014 and March 2015. In total, just over 4,000 people were involved in the trials and 1,500 completed the courses and signed the official declaration, a report for the social affairs ministry shows. Declaration What does the participation declaration say? Here’s a translation of the version currently being used in town halls around the country. Welcome to the Netherlands! The Netherlands is a constitutional democracy. This means that everyone has the same rights and that everyone must obey the same laws. In the Netherlands, the values of freedom, equality and solidarity are central. These values are connected to rights which also apply to you. These values can only be upheld if everyone actively contributes to society. In the Netherlands, participation is extremely important. Freedom In the Netherlands, everyone may think, do and say what he will. This means that: Everyone can express their own opinions Everyone may have their own belief and is free to decide whether to believe or not Everyone has the right to his or her own sexual preference Everyone has the right to make their own choices and independence There are boundaries to this. What someone says or does may never conflict with the law. For example, you may not deliberately insult someone, discriminate against them or stimulate hatred. Equality In the Netherlands, all citizens are treated equally. Discrimination on the grounds of sex, belief, origin or sexual preference is not accepted. Solidarity In the Netherlands, citizens are responsible for society. Citizens have the right to live in a safe environment, to decent housing, to fair labour contracts, a minimum wage when they work, good education and good medical care. The government has a duty to protect people against exploitation and unfair treatment. In principle, citizens must ensure they can look after themselves. If that is not possible, and no-one else can help, the government will offer help. Participation In the Netherlands, we ask all citizens to contribute to a pleasant and safe society, for example, by working, going to school or doing voluntary work. This can be done in the neighbourhood, at school or through an association. Speaking Dutch is very important in this. I declare that I have taken note of the above listed Dutch society values and that I will repect them. I declare that I want to make an active contribution to Dutch society and that I expect to be given the space and the cooperation of my fellow citizens to do this. Signed: Please note, this is a rough translation by for information purposes only  More >

Storm:minister rage at antisocial truckers

New checks for Wilders’ security detail but no crime gang involved The storm that caused travel havoc and a death in Belgium wreaked up to €10 million in damage in the Netherlands, reported NOS on Friday. A spokesman from the Dutch Association of Insurers said it was bad, but not exceptional, telling the national broadcaster: ‘The exact amount [of damage] is not yet known but it will be under €10 million.’ On Thursday afternoon and evening, code orange warnings were put in place by the weather service, and the Netherlands felt gusts of up to 120kph as ‘storm Doris’ moved from the UK across the Channel. A FlyBe passenger plane from Edinburgh crash landed at Schiphol airport when part of its undercarriage ‘collapsed’ in the bad weather, causing no injuries but shutting the runways temporarily. A silo containing about 3,000 cubic metres of manure was tipped over by the storm in Aalten, Gelderland. The area was shut off due to ammonia fumes and the resulting pollution could lead to fish death in a nearby stream, according to local reports. Train platforms in Almere and Amsterdam were temporarily closed due to building material threatening to come loose, and there were 1,250 reports of storm damage to the emergency services. VRT broadcaster said that the storm killed one person and seriously injured two others in Belgium. Meanwhile, Dutch transport minister Melanie Schultz told RTL Nieuws that truckers who take to the road during storms – and then cause accidents – are simply ‘antisocial’. ‘They cause a lot of damage, which society and insurance companies have to pay for,’ she reportedly said, citing 15 accidents involving trucks and trailers on Thursday afternoon. But the Dutch Association of Insurers added that in March or April, such a storm would have worse effects as there would be more leaves on the trees.   More >

‘Breaking Bad in Leende’ drug bust

‘Breaking Bad in Leende’: massive drugs laboratory busted An illegal drugs laboratory discovered on a farm in a small village in Noord-Brabant on Thursday morning is one of country’s largest busts, reports the Telegraaf. The paper, which dubbed the factory ‘Breaking Bad in Leende’, described a shed full of thousands of gallons of chemicals which could produce 100 kilos of speed and 150 kilos of ecstasy a day – with a street value of tens of millions. Local broadcaster Omroep Brabant said the factory was discovered after a police raid to investigate suspected cannabis cultivation – something that is currently illegal. Police spokesman Rob de Vrij said the lab they discovered instead was one of the largest and most professional operations he had seen in two decades of drug enforcement, citing the careful construction, well-laid electricity lines and good ventilation. Still, he told the broadcaster, a carnival float maker nearby was still at great risk due to the flammable materials held there. A father, mother and son who live at the farm are being held in custody.  More >