A confidential report from the Ministry of Justice reveals that Dutch police have been infiltrated by organised crime, with officials admitting that the cases under investigation may just be the “tip of the iceberg”.
Dozens of police officers have been dismissed in recent weeks as a result of investigations into corruption and breach of secrecy, according to a report obtained by the newspaper Algameen Dagblad, which revealed that police divisions across the country have been infiltrated by criminal groups
In July, the daily revealed that the gang led by Ridouan Taghi, who is being tried for drug trafficking and organising a number of gangland murders, had links with a senior officer from Utrecht.
Following an investigation, the officer was fired.
In Limburg, a senior officer was suspended for “potentially unprofessional behavior”, and three members of the team were dismissed following an investigation into four other police officers who were suspended in April.
A 55-year-old member of the Amsterdam Police Division was also suspended and arrested in July for possession of hard drugs, document fraud, manipulation of state computers and disclosure of confidential information.
In the central region of the Netherlands, nineteen police officers are accused of being linked to organised crime.
Other investigations into similar cases are ongoing.
Jan Struijs, President of the NPD Police Union, has called for much more be done to prevent police from being recruited by criminal groups.
“Our colleagues are approached by criminals. This occurs at all levels. Officers must be trained to handle this responsibly,” he said.
A Dutch justice ministry report published in 2017 and seen by the Guardian revealed that about 40 percent of “professional integrity breaches” in the police concerned officers with an immigrant background, who make up 7 percent of police personnel.
The report concluded that officers from immigrant communities were more likely to be approached by criminals offering to recruit them due to the “relatively greater level of involvement of some ethnic groups” in criminal activity, and the extended networks and complex loyalties of immigrant families.