Peter R. de Vries, the investigative journalist injured in an ambush by Dutch narcos, has died –

of Elena Tebano

Amsterdam, the crime reporter was seriously shot in the head on 6 July. He was 64

the famous investigative journalist died in Amsterdam Peter R. de Vries. He was 64 years old and on 6 July he had been the victim of an attack by hitmen who had shot him five shots in the head, outside the headquarters of the broadcaster RTL Boulevard in which a TV program in which the crime reporter had taken part had just ended. Here we propose an article on the situation of drug traffickers in the Netherlands, published in our Press Review a few days after the attack.

The Amsterdam ambush of Dutch journalist and organized crime expert Peter R. de Vries, hit by hitmen with five shots to the head on 6 July, on leaving the headquarters of the TV program he had just participated in, he ripped the veil on the power of organized crime in the Netherlands. It seems impossible for journalists who do their jobs to risk their lives in civilized Europe (yet it also happens in Italy, for example to our Roberto Saviano). Instead so.

I’m glad I’m no longer a court reporter. Everyone is afraid Bert Huisjes, director of the public broadcaster Wnl, told the German weekly Spiegel. The windows of my house are in bulletproof glass, at the time my newspaper paid for them. But today hardly any media can afford it adds. Similar testimonies were also collected by the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The ambush of De Vries, well known in Holland, the pinnacle of an escalation that has been going on for some time.

In 2016 he was killed Martin Kok, a former criminal and blogger who wrote about mafias. In June 2018, someone sent a van crashing into the facade of the editorial office of the quotidiano Telegraaf and then set it on fire. The headquarters of the magazine Panorama was hit by an anti-tank rocket. Also in 2018 the brother of a repentant was murdered, Nabil Bakkali, and the following year his lawyer. De Vries was Bakkali’s own consultant, who was the key witness in the trial against the drug trafficker of Moroccan origins Ridouan Taghi. Bakkali was a man of his, in charge of procuring cars for the cocaine kingpin. After a murder attempt that went wrong, Spiegel says, he began to fear for his life and decided to collaborate with the police.

Taghi, who has been in prison since 2019 and first been considered for years the number one public enemy of the Netherlands, accused by the investigators of managing his criminal organization, mainly dedicated to drug trafficking, as one well oiled killing machine and suspected of having ordered to punish Bakkali and anyone who helped him. The attacks on Kok, the Telegraaf and Panorama could also be linked to Taghi. A way to reiterate that his business must not be disturbed and he is untouchable. Meanwhile, his lawyers deny any wrongdoing.

We are used to thinking that the killings of journalists are an affair of remote and undemocratic states. The murder of Maltese Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 and that of Slovenian Jan Kuciak in 2018 had already proved that this is not the case. Now it is the turn of Holland, one of the most open and advanced countries not only in Europe, but in the world. The case of De Vries reveals that here too organized crime acts with shocking violence and a sense of impunity. Because it has more and more power. The ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp in Belgium have become huge transshipment points for narcotics. From there it is distributed throughout Europe. The report, commissioned by the city of Amsterdam, says drug crime is impacting the entire city. The money is laundered in restaurants and shops, he says, and the proceeds are invested in real estate, writes Spiegel again. We now have the characteristics of a narco-state. Our economy is increasingly dependent on bad guys’ money, says the head of the Dutch police union, Jan Struijs. The problem has long been underestimated. The De Vries case, with its visibility, could change things.

This piece originally came out in the Corriere Press Review reserved for our subscribers (link here)

July 15, 2021 (change July 15, 2021 | 15:16)


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