Deployment of criminal civilian infiltrator criminal investigation into international drug trafficking

More information can now be published about the investigation by the police and the Public Prosecution Service of the Northern Netherlands into international drug trafficking that led to arrests at the beginning of March 2020 and the interception of a batch of almost 100 kilos of amphetamine.

The eight detained suspects - ranging in age from 28 to 55 - were arrested in Franeker, Noardburgum, Leeuwarden, the Frisian town Zurich and Finland. They are suspected of (preparatory acts for) international trade in hard drugs, money laundering, participation in a criminal organization and possession of weapons.

International drug lines

The drug lines that came into view during this study ran from the Dutch province Friesland to Finland, Australia and England / Ireland. On Monday 2 March a transport of 86 packages of speed was intercepted in Groningen on highway A7 just before the German border. Each package weighed approximately one kilogram. This volume of drugs has an estimated street value (in Finland) of € 700,000.

The investigation also revealed the preparations for a transport of 300 kilos of cocaine from South America to Australia. During the action day on March 2, about 170 police and defense personnel were deployed.

Between September 4, 2018 and April 1, 2019, narcotics were purchased from the suspects at five pseudo-purchases. These drugs - mostly amphetamine and a small amount of cocaine - were destined for England and Ireland, but was confiscated by the police.

OMG members

Some suspects are members of the so-called Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs). It concerns a member of the Hells Angels Harlingen, a member of the Hells Angels Finland and a member of the Red Devils in Leeuwarden. More arrests are not excluded in the course of further investigation. The Finnish Hells Angel was transferred to the Netherlands on Friday 20 March and placed under arrest. He was brought before the examining magistrate on Monday. The examining magistrate has decided that the suspect will remain in pre-trial detention for a period of 14 days

In this investigation, on March 2 and 11, the Criminal Investigation Department searched premises in eleven different locations: Franeker, Harlingen, Leeuwarden, Noardburgum, Ried, Stiens, Sumar, Warfstermolen, Warten, Westergeest and Zurich.

Seized weapons, cash, expensive car and home

Five firearms with ammunition, brass knuckles and pepper spray were seized. A number of weapons were found in a plastic barrel in the ground. The searches also found 16 blocks of hashish and more than 300 hemp plants, small quantities of drugs such as speed, cocaine, GHB and ecstasy and necessities used in drug production. The remains of an underground hemp nursery were found at one of the addresses.

In addition, a house with a estimated  value of 350,000 euros was seized, some expensive watches whose exact value will be determined and three vehicles, including a BMW with a value of around 100,000 euros. Nearly 100,000 euros worth of cash has been found in various places, mostly in euros, but also in Norwegian and Danish crowns.

Criminal Citizen Infiltrator

In this investigation, a criminal civilian infiltrator was used as a special investigative tool. The criminal civilian infiltrator has given the criminal investigation officer a unique insight into the criminal environment of which he was a part. The detectives could never have built up that insight without his help.

Legally permitted

The possibility of deploying criminal civilian infiltrators is regulated by Dutch law. Only by someone who is in close contact with criminals is it possible to break through the shielding methods that criminals use. Deployment of a criminal civilian infiltrator involves a careful decision-making process.

Infiltrator well entered in criminal environment

A criminal civilian infiltrator is usually (or has been) active within groups that are being investigated or are closely associated with criminals. That also makes him valuable for a criminal investigation. His safety has always been our focus.

End of press release

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Further explanation of the press release can be given by:

Press Office Public Prosecution Service Northern Netherlands

0031-88 699 1702

Press information National Police Unit

0031-88-66 24 444

Tijdens doorzoekingen in maart 2020 is onder andere beslag gelegd op wapens

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Infographic international drug trafficking