100 extra officers for narco brigade: ‘serious investment’ needed says minister

Flowers outside Derk Wiersums office. Photo: DutchNews.nl
Flowers outside Derk Wiersum’s office. Photo: DutchNews.nl

A new ‘narco brigade’ being set up to tackle drugs crime will have more than 100 extra police officers, justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus told television show Buitenhof at the weekend.

In addition, the AIVD security service and the military security agency MIVD will also be drafted in to help track down criminals abroad, Grapperhaus said.

‘We have to realise that we must invest heavily in this,’ the minister said.

The decision to set up an elite drugs crime unit comes in the wake of the murder of laywer Derk Wiersum who was shot dead last week. Wiersum was defending a crown witness in a complicated drugs and murder trial.

This February an influential police union labeled the Netherlands a narco state and at the end of August, a new report commissioned by Amsterdam’s mayor said that the city is unable to tackle drugs-related criminal activity.

Behind the scenes, the report said, the big drugs bosses have no trouble amassing large fortunes in what the Telegraaf called ‘a golden age for the Amsterdam drugs criminals’.

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