DutchAmsterdam.nl — Amsterdam has taken over from the “Costa del Crime” of southern Spain as the preferred hiding place for Britain’s most wanted fugitives, British newspaper The Telegraph says.
Amsterdam police this week appealed for help in finding six British criminals suspected of crimes including rape, manslaughter and drug smuggling, believed to be in hiding in the Dutch City.
Liesbeth Huyzer, Police Commissioner for Amsterdam-Amstelland, said 23 wanted Britons have already been arrested in the area over the past 18 months, the paper reports.
“We don’t want these criminals to hide out in our region and that’s why we are asking the help of the public to get information to arrest more of these fugitives,” Huyzer said.
Earlier this week mug shots of the six criminals were posted online at thepolitiezoekt.nl.
Just two days later Amsterdam police arrested Anthony M., one of Britain’s most-wanted criminals. M. is suspected of being involved in large-scale drugs smuggling.
His mug shot was not included with the ones posted online as police had already traced him and did not want to scare him off.
Amsterdam police and the justice department have been cooperating with the British Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) en Crimestoppers UK.
‘Operation Return’ has already been successful. Over the past 1½ years 25 British fugitives have been caught in or near Amsterdam.
It is believed that similar operations in Spain and other Mediterranean countries have caused criminals to seek shelter elsewhere.
Amsterdam is thought to be an ideal hideout. Not only does the city have established drugs- and prostitution networks, but also good transport connections and large numbers of British tourists and expats among which other Brits don’t stand out.
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