Police carry out searches at Hells Angels clubhouses
17 October 2005, AMSTERDAM — Detectives, backed up by firearms units, carried out raids on Hells Angels clubhouses and homes in several Dutch cities in the early hours of Monday morning.
17 October 2005
AMSTERDAM — Detectives, backed up by firearms units, carried out raids on Hells Angels clubhouses and homes in several Dutch cities in the early hours of Monday morning.
The police confirmed about 1,000 officers were involved and 70 locations were searched. Television footage of one of the raids showed officers with automatic weapons standing guard as a bulldozer knocked a hole in a fence around the Hells Angels property.
Several members of the motorbike club were arrested. Justice officials are to hold a press conference later today.
The raids on Hells Angels properties in Amsterdam, Haarlem, IJmuiden, Harlingen and Rotterdam are part of an investigation launched following the killing of three Hells Angels in Limburg last year.
Twelve Hells Angels bikers were jailed for six years last March for the manslaughter of their club president, Paul de Vries.
The president of the Nomads chapter of the Hells Angels in Limburg, and two fellow members, Serge Wagener and Cor Pijnenburg, were shot dead in the chapter's clubhouse.
Their bodies were found in a stream near the southern Dutch town of Echt on 13 February last year. It was alleged the men died in a dispute over a missing consignment of cocaine.
Justice officials have long claimed the Hells Angels is a criminal organisation while the Angels insist they are simply biking enthusiasts.
The police raids were carried out to obtain evidence to support the contention that the Hells Angels is a criminal organisation, which could be outlawed.
'Big Willem' van Boxtel, the former president of the Hells Angels in Amsterdam, was among those arrested, his lawyer said on Monday.
Van Boxtel denied allegations by a witness in Limburg murder trial that he had sanctioned the murder of De Vries and the other two men.
'Big Willem' was expelled from the Hells Angels last year because he had allegedly been offered EUR 1 million by property tycoon Willem Endstra to murder convicted Heineken kidnapper Willem Holleeder.
It was suggested that 'Big Willem' was to kill 'Angel friend' Holleeder by bombing the Angel's clubhouse in Amsterdam. No attack was carried out on Holleeder but Endstra was shot dead in Amsterdam in May 2004.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news