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Dutch PM under protection as the ‘Mocro Mafia’ drug cartel sows fear in the Netherlands

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been placed under police protection in response to fears of an attack by the Mocro Mafia (Moroccan mafia), a North African criminal organisation linked to cocaine trafficking, two months after Dutch investigative journalist Peter R. de Vries was murdered in Amsterdam.

No more cycling alone through the streets of The Hague to get to meetings for Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. On September 27, Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported that the Royal and Diplomatic Security Services have deployed personal security guards to protect the prime minister, who is believed to be under threat from the Mocro Mafia.  

The group operates out of the Netherlands and Belgium and controls a third of all cocaine traffic in Europe. One police union chief said in 2019 that the Netherlands was becoming a narco-state. The 2014 novel “Mocro Maffia”, co-authored by Marijn Schrijver and Wouter Laumans, coined the term and brought the criminal gang to the public’s attention, recounting how a group of Moroccan jewellery thieves in Amsterdam created one of Europe’s most powerful criminal organisations. After its success in the Netherlands, the book was made into a TV series.  

The murder of prominent investigative journalist Peter R. de Vries was a huge shock for the country. The 64-year-old was shot in broad daylight on July 6, 2021, after leaving a television studio in central Amsterdam. He died nine days later. Dutch media say that his suspected murderer was acting on the orders of Ridouan Taghi, leader of the Mocro Mafia, who was arrested in December 2019 and is currently in a Dutch prison. 

De Vries was acting as a spokesperson for Nabil B., a former gang member turned informant, when he was shot. His assassination followed the September 2019 murder of Derk Wiersum, Nabil B.’s lawyer. Two Dutch media outlets, Panorama and De Telegraaf, were also targeted after publishing investigative pieces in which they named Mocro Mafia bosses.

Photo – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte EPA-EFE/KOEN VAN WEEL

Read more via AFP/France 24/ De Telegraaf

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