Police say Netherlands a ‘narco state;’ minister cries ‘no’
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch justice minister on Wednesday rejected accusations from the country’s police union that the Netherlands was showing signs of becoming a narco-state.
“In the Netherlands we fight successfully against organized crimes and drugs,” Justice and Security Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus said in a statement sent to AFP.
He added he “does not believe that the Netherlands is a narco-state”.
His comments came after one of the country’s main police unions, the NPB, published a scathing report on Tuesday sharply criticizing its lack of manpower and resources to fight crime.
Entitled “Distress cry from the police,” the report was the result of two years of work, involving interviews with some 400 officers.
“In the eyes of many officers, the Netherlands unfortunately presents many characteristics of a narco-state. A state where the rule of law has been sapped by the rich in a parallel (drug) economy,” the report said.
The police union argued the government and politicians were underestimating the problem of rampant crime among Dutch society, including corruption, threats and money-laundering.
All such crimes were “strongly proliferating underground,” said one police officer.
The report alleged that only 20 percent of all criminal complaints were ever investigated, with the union calling for at least 2,000 more officers as soon as possible.
Many petty criminals had been able to amass fortunes, which they had then invested in restaurants, property or travel agencies, the NPB said.
“I’ve seen small dealers in the past 25 years transform themselves into big businessmen with good political contacts and so-called respected investors,” another officer said in the report.
“Five years ago, a hitman cost 50,000 euros ($40,000). Today, it’s only 5,000 euros. It’s a question of supply and demand,” said yet another. /cbb
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