Police arrest suspected killer in Russian art dealer cold case

A police photo of Aleksandr Levin

The Amsterdam police cold case team have arrested a 62-year-old man whose DNA has now been identified on the body of a man found in the IJ waterway a decade ago.

Just the torso of the victim, who was only identified as art dealer Aleksandr Levin (65) in January this year, was discovered at the time.

A recent “unexpected DNA match” was found on both the body and the plastic it was wrapped in, leading police to believe that the man, who lived in the vicinity of the dump site, is the killer.

Levin, a specialist in icons, spent a lot of time in Amsterdam but his reputation was all but flawless. According to the Telegraaf,  he had been jailed for 10 months by a Dutch court after being caught at Schiphol with a stolen atlas said to be worth €100,000.

Following his conviction in the Netherlands, Levin was also prosecuted in Russia for his role in smuggling hundreds of stolen Russian icons which police found behind a secret door at his premises in Saint Petersburg, the paper said.

There has been much speculation about the reason for his murder,  including robbery, an argument gone wrong and the involvement of the Russian secret service.

“This is a great breakthrough in our investigation,” a cold case team spokesman told the paper, “But we can still use the help of witnesses to clear up the case completely.”

Neighbours told the Telegraaf that the man who had been arrested is a Russian national who speaks reasonable Dutch and keeps himself to himself.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

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