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Amsterdam borough wants to deport criminal gang members to Morocco

DutchAmsterdam.nl — Police in the Amsterdam borough Slotervaart, along with borough chairman Ahmed Marcouch, want to deport two Moroccan youths to Morocco.

According to them, the two brothers — both in their early twenties — are part of the Piet Mondriaan gang, a group of criminal youth from the Piet Mondriaan street and its immediate neighborhood.

The two have been living in the Netherlands for about 15 years, but have never applied for Dutch passports. Recently the brothers failed to renew their residence permits on time. Authorities say that means they are in the Netherlands illegally.

Deportation as a weapon against criminals

Slotervaart police point out that since 80 percent of the gang’s members do not have a Dutch passport, deportation can be used as a new weapon in the fight against them.

Amsterdam and other cities throughout the Netherlands have for years struggled to combat crime by second or third generation Moroccan youths.

They are among the descendants of so-called guest workers who were recruited for work in the Netherlands during the late fifties, sixties and seventies. While the arrangement was meant to be temporary, many of the guest workers elected to settle in the Netherlands.

Their language, religion, and customs kept the early immigrants relatively isolated. Younger generations often claim they feel discriminated against, and many refuse to integrate into Dutch culture. A disproportiate number of Moroccan youths are said to be involved in petty crime or worse — which in turn leads to more discrimination.

Normally the Department of Immigration and Naturalization only deports criminals who have a residence permit if they have been in the Netherlands for less than five years.

“If those boys are not Dutch citizens, you could ask whether it makes sense for them to be here,” Marcouch, himself a Morocan and holder of dual passports, told Netherlands daily Trouw. Deporting them also has a “preventive value: it shows the Netherlands does not welcome people who are dangerous.” he said.

Marcouch is himself a controversial figure. While he is well-known for his calls for integration, last January he suggested that a section in the Western part of Amsterdam be set apart for Muslims. Earlier he called for the teaching of Islam in all state schools.

persona non grata

Marcouch says he has been trying to get the brothers deported for the past year, as they have engaged in ‘serious crime.’

After countless legal procedures, both youths have been declared persona non grata.

One of the boys is in police custody. The other has disappeared since news of the deportation plans went public.

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Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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