Public Prosecution Service demands up to 8 years in prison for drug trafficking and coke transports to Zaandam

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Public Prosecution Service demands up to 8 years in prison for drug trafficking and coke transports to Zaandam

The Public Prosecution Service demanded up to eight years in prison in the Schiphol court on Monday against six suspects from North Holland on suspicion of participation in a criminal organization and involvement in the trade in ecstasy, amphetamine and cocaine in 2020. A seventh suspect will stand trial later.

Paint powder

The group of suspects came into the sights of the investigative services in April 2020 after a DHL van arrived at a warehouse in Zaandam and the deliverers delivered two boxes of paint powder. Later they bring a second load of fourteen boxes sent from Colombia.

Observation

Police information shows that the paint powder was mixed with tens of kilos of cocaine. The plan was to deliver this to customers in Zaandam via DHL’s international freight routes. However, the delivery people do not work for DHL. They are police officers who have set up a so-called controlled delivery and will observe what happens to the packages after the delivery.

Decrypted chats

Through decrypted crypto communication, the investigation identified seven suspects: a 34-year-old man from Krommenie, a 39-year-old man from Enkhuizen, a 58-year-old man from Zaandam, a 54-year-old man from Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, a 35-year-old year-old man from Almere and two men from Amsterdam aged 27 and 54.

Two groups

All seven of them are suspected of participating in a criminal organization that was involved in drug trafficking in 2020. They did this through two groups. Some involved trafficking in large quantities of cocaine, others involved the production of ecstasy and amphetamine. One of them is said to have been involved in both – he was the ‘cohesion’ between the groups, the prosecutors told the court. The case of this 35-year-old suspect from Almere will be dealt with later because he was unable to appear due to illness.

EncroChat

According to the investigative services, research into cracked EncroChat messages shows that the packages of drugs were sent from Colombia to Zaandam. Analyzes of cell tower data, among other things, made it possible to determine which users were behind the anonymous chat accounts that discussed drug transports. Sometimes a suspect could also be identified on the basis of personal information. For example, via someone’s birthday, after it was mentioned in one of the chats the next day that the suspect in question had had his birthday ‘yesterday’.

Ecstasy lab

After the investigation team gained insight into the coke transports to Zaandam, it was learned that drugs were being produced in a building in Westzaan. During a raid on the building, a 54-year-old father and his 27-year-old son from Amsterdam were found in work clothes in a working ecstasy lab. Further investigation into the chats related to this lab led the research team to a company in the Kwakel and a garage in Almere where items for drug production were found, including two new tableting machines for making ecstasy pills.

Mutual hierarchy

According to the Public Prosecution Service, all findings showed that the suspects together formed an organization in which each had their own role. One was concerned with ordering raw materials and manufacturing drugs, others focused on transport or price agreements with customers. There was a hierarchy and the EncroChat messages revealed a consultation structure in which suspects made mutual agreements and shared information regarding the production, sale and transport of synthetic drugs.

The cocaine trafficking organization operated from different locations, prosecutors explained in court. ‘You could speak of a manufacturing location in Colombia, a business location in Zaandam, to which the transport was delivered, a temporary storage and transit location, such as the warehouse in North Holland and a cocaine laundry as a final location elsewhere in the country.’

Prison sentences

The Public Prosecution Service is demanding prison sentences for all six suspects who appeared in court on Monday, minus the time they spent in pre-trial detention. Justice demands the highest punishment against a 34-year-old man from Krommenie: eight years in prison and a fine of 80,000 euros. Justice is demanding five years in prison and a fine of 40,000 euros against a 54-year-old man from Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht.

The Public Prosecution Service is demanding six years and more than three months in prison and a fine of 40,000 euros against a 39-year-old man from Enkhuizen. A 58-year-old man from Zaandam has been sentenced to 254 days in prison, of which 147 days are conditional, with a probation period of two years and the forfeiture of 9,250 euros in cash.

The justice department is demanding two years in prison and more than three months against the 27-year-old Amsterdam resident. The Public Prosecution Service is demanding 57 months in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros against the 54-year-old father of this twenty-something man.

The case of the 35-year-old suspect from Almere will be dealt with later.

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