Foreign diplomats accused of 85 crimes since 2010

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans has pledged to try to take action against diplomats who break the law, after RTL revealed they have been responsible for 85 crimes since 2010.

Currently, people with diplomatic immunity cannot be prosecuted. The diplomatic corps in the Netherlands amounts to some 20,000 people.

The total of 85 criminal offences includes 42 diplomats who were stopped by traffic police. In two out of three cases they were drunk. In other incidents the embassy worker refused to take a breathalyser test, RTL news said.


In 13 cases, diplomatic staff were caught shoplifting or were involved in other petty crime while in eight cases domestic violence was an issue. Colombia also recalled a diplomat after he was found to have connections to drugs gangs.

Russian and Chinese diplomats had six accusations each of wrong-doing to their name, RTL said.

Members of international organisation such as the International Criminal Court have also been accused of public violence, drunk-driving and vandalism, the NRC said. The European police force Europol has 24 unpaid parking fines.


In more than half the cases over the past four years, the diplomats concerned have been given a formal written warning. In three cases diplomatic immunity has been lifted by the foreign embassy concerned to enable prosecution, RTL said.

Timmermans is already planning to stop giving diplomats who don’t pay their parking fines special smart cards to buy tax-free petrol. Russia has the most unpaid parking tickets. See the complete list

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation