Investigation sparked killings: top cop
4 November 2005, AMSTERDAM — Police investigations into the Amsterdam underworld prompted worried criminals to carry out three murders this week, a senior office claimed on Friday.
4 November 2005
AMSTERDAM — Police investigations into the Amsterdam underworld prompted worried criminals to carry out three murders this week, a senior office claimed on Friday.
"We are breathing down their necks," Amsterdam's assistant police chief Bert Wijbenga told newspaper 'Het Parool'.
He said some criminals were so concerned they decided to "create certainty by killing anyone who might be about to talk". "We are happy with the panic that has broken out in the underworld but we lament the violence."
There have been a series of unsolved murders linked to the Amsterdam underworld in the last 15 years.
In the latest round of killings, lawyer Evert Hingst was shot and killed outside his home in Amsterdam on 31 October. He was reputed to be the consigliere or advisor to underworld figures.
Amsterdam gangster John Mieremet was gunned down in Thailand on Wednesday morning and hours later real estate agent and coffeeshop owner Kees Houtman was shot dead in the Osdorp district of Amsterdam.
Mieremet was a former client of Hingst but their relationship soured when Mieremet was shot and wounded outside Hingst's office in 2002. He claimed the lawyer had set him up for the assassination bid.
The Amsterdam police have decided to approach criminals who feel their lives may be in danger to see if they are willing to expose the activities of their rivals.
Referring to the killing of the lawyer, Wijbenga said: "If would naturally have been more satisfying for the division if Hingst had got a heavy sentence from a judge in the coming year. This violence is despicable".
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news