New Dutch police unit to crack down on mafia hiding out in NL

Police badge and radio.

The Dutch police have introduced a special police unit which will be completely dedicated to fighting mafia activities on Dutch soil as part of a deal with the Italian authorities, the AD reports.

The team will gather information and track down mafia members on the run from the Italian police. The deal includes the right of the Dutch police to question mafia members about their activities in the Netherlands.

The move comes in response to complaints by the Italian government about Dutch complacency in the face of mafia activity, allowing wanted criminals to live ‘a carefree life’ in the Netherlands, the paper writes.

A 2012 police report showed the ‘Ndrangheta’ could have as many as a hundred active members in this country.

Mafia activity in the Netherlands is mainly concentrated around the drugs and weapons trade but experts warn the criminal organisation is infiltrating sectors of the Dutch economy as well. In 2015 police investigation showed a mafia family had been active in the Aalsmeer flower auction for years.

‘The whole mafia repertoire was there: drugs trade, extortion, fraud,’ head of police criminal investigation Wilbert Paulissen told the paper.

‘But we know how dangerous these people are,’ he said. ‘We want to have better idea of the extent of their operations here. We have talked to one mafia member turned informer and he had some extremely interesting things to tell us,’ the paper quotes him as saying.

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