Possible gangland link to boxer's death
22 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Suspicions remain that the shooting of champion boxer Nordin ben Salah in Amsterdam earlier this week was a gangland slaying.
22 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — Suspicions remain that the shooting of champion boxer Nordin ben Salah in Amsterdam earlier this week was a gangland slaying.
In answer to media questions, police said they are taking one of the options they are considering is that the murder was a criminal liquidation, newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Wednesday.
Moroccan-born Ben Salah, 32, was shot in the President Kennedylaan at about 10pm on Monday. The Dutch national died later in hospital.
A witness said two shots were heard, followed by a scream, two more shots and then silence. A resident saw the shooter escape on a scooter and a motorbike was later found on the other side of the Amstel, but it is not yet known if it was used in the shooting.
Amsterdam has witnessed a series of gangland slayings in recent years, but a spokesman for the Purmerend sports school where Ben Salah trained denied on Tuesday that the boxer was involved in the underworld.
"He was not in the criminal circuit. He was a boxer and manager and that's all we know. And he was a boxing teacher; he worked the whole day in the boxing centre," he said.
But suspicions remain, with training partner Radmillo Soda saying that people are not shot on the street without any reason.
Another source told newspaper Het Parool that Ben Salah had a dark side, choosing to enter the crime word 10 years ago. He had also been convicted of illegal weapon possession, the source said.
Monday's shooting was the fourth murder in the Dutch capital in a week. Two male bodies were found on the Overtoom and the Jan Lievenstraat on Monday and Wednesday last week respectively.
The body of a 33-year-old prostitute of Thai origin was found by colleagues in the Wallen or Red Light District on Monday morning. Her body was found in a room of her place of work.
Ben Salah, alias Fighting Nordin, was one of the Netherlands' most successful boxers and a role model for many Moroccan youths.
He was a world champion kick boxer before launching a boxing career, which yielded 36 wins from 39 fights.
Ben Salah recaptured his intercontinental WBA super middleweight title in September 2003, but was more recently active as a boxing promoter.
He was due to defend the title in September this year, but the fight was postponed because he had injury problems with his arms.
The sports school spokesman said Ben Salah lost his title because it must be defended within 12 months. He had been preparing to reclaim the title again in November.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news