One of many Netherlands’ best-known crime reporters has died after being shot in what’s believed to be a gangland hit.
Peter R. de Vries, recognized for his work in exposing the Dutch underworld, was shot in downtown Amsterdam round 7.30pm on July 6 whereas strolling to his automobile following considered one of his common appearances on a present affairs tv present.
The 64-year-old was shot 5 – 6 instances together with as soon as within the head and as soon as within the chest, and was rushed to hospital by air ambulance.
His demise was introduced in the present day and two suspects have been detained over the capturing however not but charged.
The alleged shooter is a 21-year-old wannabe rapper, whereas a 35-year-old Polish mechanic residing within the Netherlands is accused of driving the getaway automobile. They have been arrested not lengthy after de Vries was wounded.
Delano Geerman, who raps beneath the title of Slick, is accused of opening fireplace on de Vries earlier than Kamil E drove him away from the scene.
Peter R. de Vries, one of many Netherlands’ best-known crime reporters, has died after being repeatedly shot in what’s believed to be a gangland hit
The suspected shooter is 21-year-old wannabe rapper Delano Geerman (pictured) who performs beneath the title of Slick
RTL, the Dutch community De Vries repeatedly labored for, cited the household assertion as saying: ‘Peter fought to the top, however was unable to win the battle.’
The assertion says he died surrounded by family members.
‘Peter has lived by his conviction: “On bended knee is not any strategy to be free.” We’re unbelievably pleased with him and on the similar time inconsolable.’
Suspect Delano has launched a collection of rap tracks on-line, Dutch papers report, and in 2013 participated in actuality TV present So You Assume You Can Dance as a young person.
In the meantime Kamil lives at house together with his closely pregnant spouse and their son and daughter, and has registered an ‘meeting work’ enterprise on the tackle.
The capturing comes amid the high-profile prosecution of alleged Mafia boss Ridouan Taghi, with Vries appearing as ‘confidential counsel’ to the state’s star witness Nabil B whose brother and lawyer have already been shot useless.
De Vries was gunned down in broad daylight in Amsterdam as he walked to his automobile following an everyday TV look (scene, pictured)
Ridouan Taghi: Angel of Dying ‘chief’ and Holland’s most-wanted
Born in Morocco in 1977, Taghi emigrated to the Netherlands in 1980 together with his mother and father who settled in Vianen.
He grew to become concerned in a lifetime of crime as a young person and was concerned with a gang generally known as the Dangerous Boys who operated within the Nieuwegein area.
Between 1992 and 1998, he racked up a collection of convictions for housebreaking and possession of weapons.
He’s then alleged to have gotten concerned within the drug commerce and change into an knowledgeable in ‘disposing’ of people that others needed out of the best way.
Between 2014 and 2019, Taghi is alleged to have been concerned in a minimum of 10 killings, together with the deaths of Reduan B – the brother of police informant Nabil B – and Derk Wiersum, Nabil’s lawyer.
Dubbed the Angel of Dying, prosecutors say Taghi additionally ran a drug trafficking empire that was ferrying cocaine into the Netherlands.
A warrant for his arrest was issued in 2018 and he grew to become generally known as the Netherlands’ most-wanted man when a £100,000 bounty was provided for info on his whereabouts – the biggest ever provided by Dutch police.
In December 2019 he was discovered residing in Dubai, the place he had fled the earlier yr utilizing a pretend ID.
Taghi was arrested in a joint operation by police within the Netherlands, Morocco and the UAE, and extradited again to Holland.
He’s now being held in maximum-security jail in Vught the place he’s being prosecuted for homicide and drug trafficking as a part of a Mafia-style ‘maxi-trial’ alongside 16 co-defendants.
Delano had as soon as dreamed of a profession as a performer, in response to Dutch newspaper ED, which discovered a performing arts firm referred to as Demper Music registered beneath his title.
In a enterprise submitting, it lists his actions as: Artist, singing, giving performances, dance and manufacturing.
A number of rap tracks of his additionally seem on-line, the place he sings about pursuing a lifetime of crime.
‘Faculty and work did not work so I selected the road,’ he sings on one monitor, whereas on one other says ‘mother and father need me on the precise path, however I’m on the thieves path.’
In the meantime information web site AD referred to as on the tackle the place Kamil lived, and located his closely pregnant spouse at house with their son and daughter – although they refused to talk, apart from to substantiate police had visited their house within the evening.
Neighbours mentioned the Poles had been subletting the home for round two months from a Turkish household, however refused to say any extra or give their names for concern of reprisals.
In the meantime De Telegraaf experiences that, on July 1, Kamil was arrested for making a risk with a firearm and that armed police searched his house – although mentioned no additional particulars have been accessible.
The pair have been arrested simply an hour after final Tuesday’s 7.30pm capturing after police used quantity plate recognition software program and witness descriptions to determine their automobile.
Investigators haven’t but disclosed why they attacked Vries and haven’t formally linked the tried homicide to Taghi and his ongoing trial – although few observers imagine the 2 occasions are unconnected.
The assault on Vries marks the third time that somebody linked to the case has been gunned down, after witness Nabil B’s brother Reduan was shot useless on his doorstep in 2018.
Derk Wiersum, the lawyer representing Nabil, was then killed similarly in 2019, an assault that observers mentioned risked turning the Netherlands right into a South American-style narco-state.
De Vries had agreed to be Nabil’s counselor in spring 2020 when two new legal professionals – Peter Schouten and Onno de Jong – additionally joined the case, De Telegraaf experiences.
However, not like the legal professionals, de Vries had refused presents of safety to guard him.
That’s even though – even earlier than he joined the case – de Vries had publicly spoken of suspicions that Taghi had positioned him on a ‘hit checklist’.
Taghi subsequently wrote to de Vries assuring him that he had ‘nothing to concern’.
Taghi is at the moment being held in maximum-security jail within the metropolis of Vught, suspected of main a cocaine-smuggling gang referred to as the ‘Angels of Dying’ and of being concerned in a string of murders.
Police mentioned that a number of properties in Tiel, Maurik and Rotterdam in a single day and seized arduous drives and ammunition.
Talking concerning the capturing, a police spokesman mentioned that ‘Peter R. de Vries was shot down in Lange Leidsedwarsstraat,’ referring to a avenue close to one of many metropolis’s largest public squares.
The capturing occurred in broad daylight in entrance of dozens of witnesses, who mentioned a slender, light-skinned man carrying a military-print tracksuit, black facemask and cap had walked as much as him and opened fireplace.
Royce de Vries (left), the son of Dutch crime reporter Peter (proper), has spoken out after his father was shot within the head in Amsterdam final evening in a suspected hit
Royce wrote a heartfelt Twitter publish thanking individuals for his or her help as his father fights for all times in hospital after being shot a number of instances
5 – 6 pictures have been fired, hitting de Vries within the chest and head, earlier than the gun fled on foot via two close by streets.
Passersby rushed to assist de Vries, calling medics and holding his hand till they arrived and took him to hospital.
Early in his profession at De Telegraaf, the place he began as a trainee when he was 20 years previous, De Vries reported on the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken, the magnate of the beer firm.
Heineken was finally launched and his kidnappers jailed together with prime Dutch prison Willem Holleeder and Cor van Hout, whom de Vries later befriended earlier than he was assassinated in 2003.
The crime reporter wrote two books concerning the investigation together with one which was tailored right into a 2015 movie starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kidnapping Freddy Heineken.
Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra mentioned in Parliament he was ‘deeply shocked’ by the assault.
‘We do not know the circumstances, however regardless of the circumstances that is unimaginable and horrible information,’ Hoekstra mentioned.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte advised a press convention in The Hague the assault was ‘surprising and inconceivable’.
‘It is an assault on a brave journalist and by extension an assault on the liberty of the press, which is so important for our democracy and rule of legislation,’ he mentioned.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima wrote in a press release: ‘The report that journalist Peter R. De Vries was shot has shocked us deeply.
‘He and all these pricey to him are in our ideas.
They mentioned journalists should be capable of do their work with out risk.
‘We really feel related to everybody who’s dedicated to the free press in our constitutional state.’
‘That is what you have been hoping all alongside that does not occur,’ mentioned Thomas Bruning, normal secretary of the Dutch Affiliation of Journalists.
‘In fact it stays to be seen which actions of De Vries that is associated to, however the assault came about in entrance of RTL Boulevard.
‘This hits journalism proper within the face. Let’s hope and pray for his well being.’
De Vries, who investigated greater than 500 homicide recordsdata, was recognized each for his fearless reporting on the Netherlands’ present-day prison underworld, and his work attempting to shut chilly instances.
Individuals depart flowers, candles and messages of help to Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries on the spot the place he was shot in Amsterdam on Tuesday evening
Individuals depart flowers, candles and messages of help to Peter R. de Vries within the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat within the middle of Amsterdam
De Vries labored for numerous newspapers and magazines earlier than spending 17 years on a tv programme, named after himself.
He gained an Worldwide Emmy Award in 2008 for a tv present he made concerning the disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway who vanished whereas she was on vacation within the Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005.
De Vries helped heap suspicion on Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, who had been recognized however not arrested by police, by mentioning that he had lied a number of instances throughout questioning.
De Vries finally captured Sloot saying on digicam that he had dumped Holloway’s physique within the ocean, although he was not jailed for the killing as a result of he was already serving a 28-year time period in Peru for the homicide of Stephany Flores.
He was additionally the driving pressure behind the acquittal of two males generally known as the ‘Putten two’ who had been wrongly convicted of the homicide of Christel Ambrosius close to the city of Putten in 1994.
The pair have been acquitted of the killing in 2002 after de Vries helped show their innocence, and gained compensation of £900,000 every. In 2008, one other suspect was arrested and subsequently jailed for the killing.
De Vries had been a visitor at Dutch broadcaster RTL Boulevard to speak concerning the case of Seif Ahmed, a hairdresser who was shot useless in his automobile in 2019.
He had additionally been subjected to threats from the prison underworld up to now in reference to a number of instances.
In 2013 Willem Holleeder, the Heineken kidnapper, was convicted of constructing threats in opposition to De Vries.
Holleeder is at the moment serving a life sentence for his involvement in 5 murders.
Final yr, De Vries helped to resolve a chilly case investigation greater than 20 years after Nicky Verstappen died on the age of 11. Jos B sentenced to 12.5 years in jail in November and De Vries supported Verstappen’s mother and father and was there throughout your complete trial.
Saskia Belleman mentioned that his involvement in trials was of ‘crutical significance’ for the sufferer’s household, Al Jazeera reported.
She added: ‘It was his willpower that made certain instances weren’t forgotten and police and the judiciary determined to take one other look.’
De Vries beloved biking and soccer, and held a season ticket for Ajax, a Dutch skilled soccer membership based mostly in Amsterdam, and campaigned for refugee rights.
A refugee from Ethiopia Yosef Tekeste-Yemane mentioned: ‘I emailed all of the Dutch media and not using a response, however he replied inside 5 minutes.
‘He was indignant, needed to know extra. He put our story on the political agenda.’
Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands converse concerning the capturing of de Vries whereas attending a press convention in Germany
Holland, the drug smugglers’ paradise that gangs are turning right into a narco-state with illicit operations price billions
To the informal observer, the Netherlands might sound a liberal paradise – famously tolerant of hashish and intercourse work, it’s a nation that prides itself on a tradition of ‘pragmatic tolerance’.
However scratch the floor even a bit of, and what you expose is a blood-soaked prison underworld that – at its worst – has echoes of South America.
Certainly, it’s South American medication which have introduced a lot of the Netherlands’ troubles – specifically cocaine, for which the nation’s bustling ports act as a gateway to the remainder of Europe.
Consultants warn that Holland gives the ‘very best surroundings’ for a medicine commerce which has left the nation in concern of turning into a ‘narco-state’.
Whereas greater than 14,000kg of cocaine is seized by Dutch authorities yearly, it’s believed that round 56,000kg goes undetected, making Holland one of many main drug-trafficking hubs in Europe.
Busted: In a single main medication raid final yr, greater than two tons of cocaine with an estimated avenue worth of £136million have been present in a banana cargo in Rotterdam
Typically hidden in fruit shipments, among the profitable stashes of cocaine are price greater than £100million alone and are generally smuggled together with firearms.
The prison commerce at Dutch ports has additionally began to seep into the mainland, with gang violence inflicting an outcry in Amsterdam the place drug kingpins run money-laundering rackets and a ‘ring of hustlers and parasites’ have ‘free rein’.
In a single main drug bust final yr, greater than two tons of cocaine with an estimated avenue worth of £136million have been present in a banana cargo in Rotterdam.
Arriving from Ecuador, the unlawful medication have been meant to make use of Holland as a gateway to Europe earlier than making their strategy to Hungary.
Rotterdam is Europe’s largest sea port and handles almost 15million containers a yr, solely a small fraction of that are routinely scanned.
Even when containers are inspected, gangs can use accomplices at Dutch and Belgian docks to sneak previous authorities.
Final yr, police found that seven delivery containers had even been tailored into jail cells and a ‘torture chamber’ utilized by the prison underworld.
Believed for use for kidnappings, ‘torture chamber’ included what seemed like a dentist’s chair with straps for the prisoner’s legs and arms.
Six individuals have been arrested on suspicion of ‘making ready kidnappings and hostage-taking’ after the containers have been found close to the Belgian border in a raid linked to the medication commerce.
Pieter Tops, a professor on the Dutch police academy, mentioned in October that Holland’s tolerant penal system and its intensive transport hyperlinks make it an ‘very best surroundings for the medication commerce’.
‘Torture chamber’: Final yr, police found that seven delivery containers had even been tailored into jail cells utilized by the prison underworld
The professor mentioned that schoolchildren have been generally provided €500 to move a bundle whereas farmers have been approached about letting out their land to drug gangs.
‘The principle drawback is the large move of cash and its rippling impact all through our society,’ he advised Dutch Information.
A 2019 report by the EU’s drug company estimated that round 14,600kg of cocaine are seized within the Netherlands yearly – with a separate IMF report giving a ‘seizure charge’ of round 20 per cent.
Tops mentioned that every kilogram of cocaine is price round €50,000, that means the general commerce is price billions.
In Amsterdam, a report commissioned by metropolis authorities in 2019 discovered that onerous medication had led to rising violence and corruption by the hands of ‘hustlers, parasites and extortionists’.
The Netherlands has a ‘coverage of toleration’ on delicate medication which implies that Amsterdam’s ‘espresso outlets’ will not be prosecuted for promoting marijuana.
‘Separating delicate and arduous medication shields the customers of soppy medication from the prison circuit that’s concerned within the arduous medication commerce,’ the federal government says.
However the report discovered that the identical ‘toleration’ was step by step being prolonged to tougher medication, with as much as 17 per cent of the inhabitants utilizing cocaine or heroin.
‘Amsterdam has given free rein…to a motley crew of medicine criminals, a hoop of hustlers and parasites, middle-men and extortionists, of doubtful notaries and actual property agent,’ the report mentioned.
On the prime of the prison chain are rich organised crime bosses who is probably not bodily positioned in Amsterdam, the report mentioned.
On the backside are ‘lackeys similar to scooter and taxi chauffeurs and even younger messenger boys set to observe fairly a profession path: providing homicide as a service.’
The report additionally discovered proof of money-laundering programs and turf wars between drug retailers in Amsterdam.
Delivery hub: The port of Rotterdam is the biggest in Europe and handles almost 15million containers a yr, making it a lovely gateway for drug smugglers
Throughout the Netherlands, round six per cent of males aged 15-34 and three per cent of girls in the identical age group say they use cocaine.
Hashish produced in Holland can also be offered to different international locations, whereas Dutch ports function a degree of transit for cocaine to be transported elsewhere in Europe.
In 2019, the killing of a lawyer for a protected witness in a medicine case led the pinnacle of a Dutch police union to say that ‘we positively have the traits of a narco-state’.
‘Positive we’re not Mexico. We do not have 14,400 murders. However should you have a look at the infrastructure, the massive cash earned by organised crime, the parallel economic system. Sure, we’ve a narco-state,’ Jan Struijs advised BBC Information on the time.
The murdered lawyer, Derk Wiersum, was shot useless within the Amsterdam suburbs by a person wearing black who fled on foot and was regarded as no older than 20.
Wiersum was representing a ‘supergrass’ witness in a medicine case who had reduce a take care of prosecutors to offer proof in opposition to suspected underworld bosses.
Months later, one other Dutch lawyer concerned in a number of drug-related instances was shot throughout the border in Germany, though he was not critically injured.
Hook of Holland was additionally the departure level for a 35kg cocaine run to Britain which was finally uncovered when the cargo arrived in Humberside.
Lorry driver Hendrik van der Genugten was later jailed for 10 years after smuggling the medication out of the Netherlands in 2019.