Dutch public prosecutor wants drug baron to hand over €64m

Criminals caught on camera: police expand camera surveillance on roads

The Dutch public prosecution department has gone to court in an effort to win over €64m from a convicted drugs smuggler. The department says the 49-year-old man has smuggled thousands of kilos of cocaine into the Netherlands by plane from Brazil via Frankfurt. The drug was disguised as flammable paste for fondue sets and was ostensibly destined for a company in Poland. The gang are suspected of making at least 12 transports, bringing in over seven tonnes of the drug. In total, the department puts the value of the cocaine at €192,089,045, excluding costs of €16,405,822 for purchasing the drug, packing it and shipping it in. Because the man is thought to have worked with two accomplices, the public prosecution department is calling on him to hand over a third of the total proceeds. He was jailed for six years in 2011 but is currently appealing against that sentence.   More >

Motorbike gang leader arrested for assault

Motorbike gang leader arrested for assault, blackmail and robbery with violence The leader of motorbike gang No Surrender has been arrested on charges of assault, blackmail, robbery with violence and forgery, the police said on Tuesday morning. Henk Kuiper, 53, was arrested at his home in Emmen in Drenthe, the police statement said. At the same time, police arrested a 59-year-old man in Sneek, in Friesland and searched an office in Drachten. That man is suspected of using Kuiper to 'settle' business disputes and collect unpaid bills. The police statement said that Kuiper is suspected of assaulting at least eight members of the motorbike gang between 2014 and 2017 and blackmailing them for failing to comply with the club rules. Several members were also required to pay fines of several thousand euros or hand over valuable personal property, the police said. Police also said they suspected a number of Kuiper's alleged victims were too scared to come forward and called on them not to give into fear. 'More important is the fact that the safety of our society is being compromised,' police said. There have been several attempts in the Netherlands to outlaw motorbike gangs because of their alleged connections to organised crime but all have so far failed.  More >

Family criticise police over balcony death

Family raise questions after teenage model dies in fall from balcony Interpol has been asked to investigate the death of a Dutch teenager who fell from the 20th floor of an apartment block in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday morning. Ivana Smit, 18, was naked when she fell 42 metres and onto a sixth-floor balcony of the building on Jalan Dang Wangi in the Malaysian capital. Police said she was intoxicated at the time and blood tests revealed traces of alcohol, ecstasy and amphetamines in her system. But her father, Marcel Smit, told AD he saw blue marks resembling fingerprints round her neck when he was viewed her body. The Dutch embassy in Malaysia has asked Interpol to investigate the concerns raised by Ivana's family. Her last communication was a selfie sent to her boyfriend at around 7.25am, in which she said she had gone home with an American couple after a night out. She added she was tired and wanted to go to sleep. Camera footage from the apartments shows Ivana entering the building with her American hosts at around 5am. She is believed to have fallen at around 10am. Her hosts told police that the husband had slept through the whole episode and not noticed her falling from the balcony, while his wife had gone out to take their four-year-old son to school. But Marcel Smit said neighbours had heard shouting and arguments in the apartment block that morning. 'The police are doing nothing with that information and just want to tie up the case quickly,' he said. He pointed out that the couple did not contact police until 3pm, five hours after the accident is thought to have happened. 'It's very strange that this American couple did nothing while Ivana's things were lying in their apartment,' he said. Ivana's uncle, Fred Agenjo, said there were other unanswered questions about her death. 'Her clothes have been found, but her shoes and underwear haven't. The police haven't looked at her mobile phones. The police won't say if the drugs got into her system while she was still alive. The police also won't say if they found evidence of sexual intercourse. 'We want a thorough investigation. If it turns out it was an accident or a reckless act by Ivana, we can live with that.'  More >

Potential breakthrough in MH17 probe

Criminals caught on camera: police expand camera surveillance on roads The Dutch-led team investigating the downing of flight MH17 said it had 'learned with considerable interest' about new claims made by online investigation group Bellingcat. Bellingcat said on Friday it had identified a man heard speaking on a number of intercepted phone calls as Russian general Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev following voice analysis. The identity of the owner of the voice, known as Delfin, is considered key to the investigation and last year the investigation team (JIT) appealed for help in identifying him and another voice known as Orion. 'There are a number of details surrounding Delfin and Orion that are unclear, including their exact role in the downing of MH17, but the fact that the JIT has specifically requested information on them implies how they are key persons of interest in the criminal investigation of the tragedy,' Bellingcat said. The JIT statement said that reactions to the call for information would be seriously looked at, including the information provided by Bellingcat. However, the JIT declined to give further information in the interests of the investigation and out of privacy considerations. An analysis of the findings by international law professor Marieke de Hoon in Trouw suggests they could be a 'game changer' if correct. This would prove Russia had a presence in Ukraine at the time MH17 was shot down, which has major consequences under the European Convention on Human Rights.  More >

Suspect detained in murder case from 1992

Police arrest murder suspect in 25-year-old cold case breakthrough Police have arrested a man in connection with the rape and murder of a young woman 25 years ago after taking DNA samples from more than 100 men. The breakthrough in the case of 19-year-old Milica van Doorn was announced on Monday morning after the family were informed at the weekend. Milica's body was found dead in a pond in the Kogerveld area of Zaandam in June 1992. A postmortem examination revealed she had been raped and stabbed to death. DNA samples indicated that the killer was almost certainly a man of Turkish origin. This year police asked 133 men from Zaandam's Turkish community to volunteer their DNA for comparison, 126 of whom agreed, several could not be traced and two refused. Public prosecutor Bob Steensma told a press conference later on Monday that the suspect is one of the two men who refused to submit to the voluntary testing. After his arrest the suspect was required to go through a compulsory dna test and was found to be a 100% match. He was found because the tests showed he is related to one of the men who came forward for voluntary dna testing after the appeal last month. Witnesses at the time said they had seen a man of Turkish appearance cycling near the spot where Milica was found. At a press conference on Monday morning, a spokesman for the family thanked the Turkish community for taking part in the inquiry.  More >