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InvisibleMostly_HarmlessM
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Is the Netherlands becoming a narco-state? * 2
    #26390042 - 12/19/19 06:46 AM (2 years, 7 months ago)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-50821542

19/12/19

Quote:

"We definitely have the characteristics of a narco-state," confides Jan Struijs, chairman of the biggest Dutch police union.

"Sure we're not Mexico. We don't have 14,400 murders. But if you look at the infrastructure, the big money earned by organised crime, the parallel economy. Yes, we have a narco-state."

His words echo in a society that has been convulsed by a murder that went far beyond the bubble of the criminal underworld.

The deadly shooting of Derk Wiersum destroyed a common misconception here: that drug cartels only kill their own. A 44-year-old father of two, he was shot dead in front of his wife outside their home in Amsterdam in September.



'This is meant to frighten us'

Wiersum was the lawyer for a crown prosecution witness, Nabil B, who had turned supergrass in a case against two of the Netherlands' most wanted suspects.

The shooting in broad daylight in quiet suburbia was seen as an attack on civil society, democracy and the rule of law.

"This is meant to frighten us," warned public prosecutor Fred Westerbeke. "We must continue to use key witnesses otherwise we will get no further."

Suddenly, the fears of a drug users' paradise turning into a haven for drug crime and an economy undermined by it had burst into the open.

"A few incidents over the last few years were like a sign on the wall," explains Wouter Loumans whose bestseller, Mocro Mafia, is a story charting the rise of a new generation of criminals in Amsterdam.

"The signs were there that it could flow over from the underworld to the upper world, and now that has happened."

Loumans lists a series of incidents as evidence of the escalating brutality:

  • Two young boys killed in Kalashnikov shootout with bullets ricocheting off walls
  • A mother murdered in front of her children
  • A severed head outside a coffee shop
  • The murder of a crown witness's brother, Reduan B
  • The murder of lawyer Derk Wiersum




What is the 'Mocro Mafia'?

"It's street slang. Young Moroccans call each other 'Mocro'," says Loumans, who wrote the book with Marijn Schrijver.

"We came up with Mocro Mafia to encapsulate what the book was about. Now I see they're using it in police reports. But it's not only Moroccans. It's about young boys growing up in areas of Amsterdam where tourists never go.

"It's not canals, the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh. It's the housing estates. They don't have the same opportunities. They are aspirational, they are looking for a career in the underworld."



Organised crime 'rotting society'

Even before Wiersum's murder, a report commissioned by the mayor or Amsterdam in August described the capital as a "Valhalla for drugs criminals".

The Netherlands wasn't yet a narco-state but was in danger of becoming one, warned Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus.

Without firm intervention, he said, "you'll get a minister standing here in dark glasses rather that someone simply giving democratic accountability".

"We knew it was coming," Jan Struijs told me. "Lawyers, mayors, police officers - we've all been threatened by organised crime. All the alarms have been sounding but the politicians have been naive. Now it's rotting the concrete of our society."

A few days later another Dutch lawyer, Philippe Schol, was shot in the leg in a drive-by shooting while out walking his dog near his home across the border in Germany.

One opinion poll suggested 59% of people believed the Netherlands was now a narco-state, in other words a country whose economy is dependent on the trade in illegal drugs.

It strikes me as ironic that in a bureaucratic nation that sends you a dog tax reminder or fine for an overdue parking payment in a flash, gangsters remain at large and gangland shootings erupt on a regular basis.



Arrest of the Netherlands' most wanted

Then came a high-profile arrest in the Gulf this week.

Ridouan Taghi was detained entering Dubai on a fake ID and held under an international arrest warrant on suspicion of multiple murders and drug running.

Described by police as one of the world's "most dangerous men", the 41-year-old is suspected of ordering a string of "liquidations", including the murder of Derk Wiersum.

Dutch prosecutors immediately sought his extradition, ahead of a major gangland trial in March 2020, and he was flown to the Netherlands late on Wednesday.

The "Marengo" case involves five murders and a series of attempted murders, including the brother of informant Nabil B.

Ridouan Taghi is believed to have been living in Dubai with his wife and six children.

Dutch police say his arrest followed intense international co-operation rather than a tip-off . A hundred detectives were involved and police chief Erik Akerboom said the arrest was "of great importance to the Netherlands".

"Taghi and his henchmen pose a threat to the rule of law. It is very important for us as police... to remove threats," he said.

The following day, six people were picked up across the Netherlands on suspicion of money laundering and possessing drugs and firearms.

While the arrest of Ridouan Taghi was a success for Dutch law enforcement, Wouter Loumans doubts it'll deter young people from aspiring to follow in his footsteps.

"It's about opportunities in society. They're no different from bankers or journalists, they want to make money. If you aren't a good football player or don't have the brains to wrestle yourself out of that world, this is their means. It's not just a drug problem, it's a social problem."



How big is the Dutch drug problem?

The Netherlands has in a sense created the perfect environment for the drugs trade to flourish.

With its extensive transport network, its lenient drug laws and penalties, and its proximity to a number of lucrative markets, it is an obvious hub for the global narcotics flow.

Renowned writer Roberto Saviano, who chronicled the organised crime world of the Naples Camorra network, believes mafia influence in Amsterdam is even worse.

"There are clans from all over the world, because the Netherlands is one of the most important transit ports. They know whoever controls the Netherlands has one of the arteries of the global drug market," he told the Volkskrant newspaper.

Billions and billions of euros are earned on the black market. Synthetic drugs with a street value of €18.9bn (£16bn; $22bn) were produced in the Netherlands in 2017.

Soft drugs have been imported from Colombia and North Africa for 30 years. Today a significant portion of synthetic drugs - MDMA, LSD, amphetamines, GHB and crystal meth - are produced in the Netherlands. In fact the country is considered a world leader.

Police union chief Jan Struijs highlights the speed at which these drugs are transported around the globe.

"On the day Donald Trump became president, the first distinctive orange 'Trumpies' ecstasy tablets were found in Schiphol; 24 hours later they were on sale in Australia.

"There are a lot of Mexicans helping to produce crystal meth in the Netherlands. You see a cocaine dump in Venezuela and Suriname, you see very low prices in Amsterdam, Liverpool and Manchester. Every gram you buy goes to organised crime and to funding these drug cartels."



Where the Netherlands fits on the drugs map

South American drug lords started by shipping to West Africa. The drugs then went north over old smuggling lines from Morocco, and young Moroccans whose parents had moved to the Netherlands still had family connections and migration routes to tap into.

That is how police allege Ridouan Taghi made his fortune. He inherited or "gained control" of a smuggling line and started moving cocaine instead of cannabis - which generated more money, and violence.

While ringleaders often operate internationally, police fear they are able to use domestic influence to control contract killers who are becoming increasingly younger.

"Police understand but don't have the means to intervene," shrugs Jan Struijs, "It's not only the budget cuts. Also youth prevention teams have gone. So young people are falling under the radar. Then suddenly we see them helping with liquidations."

But does that mean that the Netherlands has turned into a narco-state?

"We don't have bodies dangling from bridges," argues Wouter Loumans, "but we do have corruption in the docks, violence against lawyers, threats to journalists. It definitely has some of the characteristics of a narco-state lite."

If it does have such an unenviable status, it manifests itself mostly below the radar.

The Dutch economy may not be dependent or defined by the drugs industry, but that industry is exerting increasing influence on society.




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OfflineMorel Guy
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Re: Is the Netherlands becoming a narco-state? [Re: Mostly_Harmless]
    #26390054 - 12/19/19 07:00 AM (2 years, 7 months ago)

I read something like this, or this very same news piece.  It's not a narco state unless the Govt is involved in the drug trade.

I know for a fact, that at some level the US Military and Intelligence community is involved to some degree in the drug trade.  I wouldn't be surprised if any other nation was either.  Purely for national security operations that the entire Government hierarchy doesn't know about and/or hasn't approved.  Which could involve assassinations within their own borders.


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"in sterquiliniis invenitur in stercore invenitur"

In filth it will be found in dung it will be found


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InvisiblePsychoReactive
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Re: Is the Netherlands becoming a narco-state? [Re: Morel Guy] * 1
    #26390291 - 12/19/19 10:44 AM (2 years, 7 months ago)

If there is no CIA present, it aint a narco state,


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OfflineMorel Guy
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Re: Is the Netherlands becoming a narco-state? [Re: PsychoReactive]
    #26390381 - 12/19/19 11:49 AM (2 years, 7 months ago)

CIA exists in every nation.  Anywhere there is an embassy, there is at least on CIA station chief.


--------------------
"in sterquiliniis invenitur in stercore invenitur"

In filth it will be found in dung it will be found


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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Is the Netherlands becoming a narco-state? [Re: Mostly_Harmless] * 1
    #26390828 - 12/19/19 04:47 PM (2 years, 7 months ago)

Interesting article.  This world.  Islam, and  cartels making their way in and the change of lifestyles.  Fear.  And reasonably so.  I don't want to get stabbed or murdered.  Simple.

WOKE! :specialralph:


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Invisiblenooneman
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Re: Is the Netherlands becoming a narco-state? [Re: Mostly_Harmless]
    #26391229 - 12/19/19 08:17 PM (2 years, 7 months ago)

I'm curious to hear Asante's input on this.


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OfflineAldebaran
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Re: Is the Netherlands becoming a narco-state? [Re: Barnaby]
    #26394373 - 12/21/19 07:08 PM (2 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Fear.  And reasonably so.  I don't want to get stabbed or murdered.  Simple.




The Netherlands, including Amsterdam, is very safe - I think the Dutch are used to such a low level of violent crime that any escalation comes as a big shock.

The production, import and export of huge volumes of drugs through the Netherlands is hardly a new thing. Mostly it's been under the radar, carried out by people who do not want to draw attention to themselves, but obviously the Dutch are now (rightly) concerned that a new generation of criminals is willing to target lawyers e.t.c - anyone who threatens their activities - and not just each other.

Personally I would be far more worried about getting stabbed in London, or shot in any number of cities across the US. In Amsterdam I'd be more worried about being taken out by a kamikaze cyclist...


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I wrote that, but I meant something else


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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Is the Netherlands becoming a narco-state? [Re: Aldebaran]
    #26394959 - 12/22/19 05:44 AM (2 years, 7 months ago)

Enjoyed your post.  Yeah London, why do Islamic people just stab people?  Much more efficient in the U.S. if you want to harm innocent people with guns.

I wouldn't be afraid to travel there or London for that matter.  Industrialized nations I am not afraid of.  Just the third world ones if I was to visit such. 

I won't even go into Mexico anymore.


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InvisibleHolybullshit
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Re: Is the Netherlands becoming a narco-state? [Re: Barnaby]
    #26401291 - 12/26/19 09:55 AM (2 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Barnaby said:
Enjoyed your post.  Yeah London, why do Islamic people just stab people?  Much more efficient in the U.S. if you want to harm innocent people with guns.

I wouldn't be afraid to travel there or London for that matter.  Industrialized nations I am not afraid of.  Just the third world ones if I was to visit such. 

I won't even go into Mexico anymore.




Because .22 rifles are the only legal semiautomatic weapons in the UK, other than shotguns with a 3 shell max capacity(including the chambered round).

Outside of low capacity, slow shooting, and unwieldy hunting rifles(which still require a certain amount of redtape and waiting to obtain) guns are illegal in the UK; concealed weapons completely so, and there isn't as much access to anything capable of harming multiple human beings at one time...especially not something you could easily walk up to someone with(or more than 1 person) or even carry down the street very far.

And they are expensive, not many people who have enough disposable income to obtain a firearm in London which would make a better assault weapon than a knife are going to commit random acts of violence. And those that do probably wouldn't be both capable of, and stay motivated trough, finishing the process to obtain one.

If you are asking what drives them to stab...random stabbings are probably not as common as the media has made them out to be and are committed by those who had been radicalized and manipulated over many years/dirt poor refugees who had already experienced great psychological trauma. Even in those cases they aren't exactly so "random"(even if the targets seemingly are, there is often some event, or series thereof, which pushes them over the edge)

Like someone giving them shit just for being Muslim and painting their entire religion as some kind of scourge on the world.(sound familiar Barnaby?)

The fact that getting stabbed is the worst thing you have to worry about there just shows how well their gun laws work.

And it would be pretty asinine(borderline ludicrous) for anyone from the US to talk about how "scary" it would be to enter other industrialized nations because of violent crime, outside of certain areas in Mexico.


Edited by Holybullshit (12/26/19 10:30 AM)


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