Police disrupt drug trade in the Achterhoek by intervening in Telegram group

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Doetinchem – The police of the district of North and East Gelderland (NOG) intervened this week in a Telegram group where drugs were traded. It is the first time that a Telegram group selling drugs has been completely taken over from the administrator.

The manager of the Telegram group has been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and facilitating the drug trade. The police are currently investigating further. The (personal) data that circulated in the group is currently being secured and several arrests cannot be ruled out.

Drugs, illegal fireworks, cigarettes and medicines were offered in the Telegram group “Trade Achterhoek”. The Telegram group facilitated this trade and made it possible by linking different traders together. The purchased goods were bought for resale or for personal use.

The investigation was the result of a collaboration between Flexteam NOG, colleagues from the Basic Teams in the Achterhoek, the Intelligence and Cybercrime department of the police and Flexteams from other districts. All under the direction of the East Netherlands District Court of the Public Prosecution Service.

Larissa Huijmans, deputy district chief of the North and East Gelderland police: ‘We are also present online as one government. If we notice that illegal activities are taking place in digital places, we will act together with chain partners, as we are used to doing in the neighbourhood. We know that nowadays people hang out in a common place online just as much as they do in the physical world and misbehaving there can be just as disruptive to society. We will not tolerate that.”

Intensive digital research led to the identity of the administrator of the Telegram group, in which the suspect used the username “Narcos”. On Monday afternoon, April 24, 2023, agents raided this trader’s home and he was arrested. It concerns a man from the municipality of Bronckhorst. The man is suspected of drug trafficking and enabling and facilitating the drug trade. Narcotics and a substantial amount of cash were found in his home, among other things. Customs was also present during the search. The suspect is still in custody and is being questioned. He will probably have to answer to the judge at a later date. A 29-year-old woman has also been identified by the police as a suspect. Police are not ruling out multiple arrests.

Telegram message from the police
Accounts and groups that engage in (online) criminal activities, such as the trade in drugs and other illegal goods, do everything they can to keep their data protected. Both traders and buyers feel anonymous on Telegram. After the arrest of the suspect, management of the Telegram group was taken over to disrupt and stop trading. The police have sent the message below in the Telegram group. The police subsequently removed the Telegram group.

Our message in the Telegram group:

“This group has been taken over by the police. All data from this group is saved. The admin of this Telegram group is currently in custody and being questioned. Multiple arrests are not ruled out. It is forbidden to deal in drugs. The social consequences of drug use are great; drugs are addictive, bad for your health and often cause financial problems. The trade also causes nuisance and is often accompanied by violence. We therefore take this very seriously. Drug trafficking carries a penalty of up to 8 years. In addition, the police share information with other government parties, such as the municipality, the tax authorities and the UWV. When drugs are found in a home, the municipality can act and decide to close the home. The drug trade can also mean that you lose your benefits and/or allowances from the tax authorities. Stop these activities! You have been warned. Need help or want to chat anonymously about your drug use? Then go to www.iriszorg.nl”

Tackling drug trafficking
The fight against (local) drug trafficking has the attention of the police. The trade and use of drugs can cause a lot of nuisance. The police therefore tackle places where drugs are dealt. The use of drugs leads to more crime and has harmful effects on public health.

Drug crime has an attraction for young people and young adults. Many of the participants of the Telegram group “Handelachterhoek” also belonged to this target group. This is a very worrying development. It often happens that young people are offered free drugs with the aim of recruiting them for criminal activities. Young people thus build up a debt and are then forced to carry out assignments. The police therefore think it is important that these practices are stopped as soon as possible.

Integral cooperation
Subversion by organized crime is a complex issue. Crime is becoming more complex and more organized. It is therefore important that the police work together with chain partners in order to join forces and tackle organized crime effectively.

In this 04Anfield investigation, the police also cooperated with chain partners, such as the municipality and Customs. Based on the information that emerges from the research, it will be examined whether more information can be shared with chain partners.

Report suspicious situations
Do you see a suspicious situation that may be related to the trade or production of drugs, for example a building where there are suddenly a lot of visitors from different, unknown people? Call the police on 0900-8844 or call Meld Misdaad Anoniem anonymously on 0800-7000.


Information source: Politie.nl

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