Sunday, April 23, 2006

Organized crime is in a constant state of reorganisation

In Amsterdam-West another gangland killing occurred this week as a part of what seems to be the ongoing war between the most powerful Dutch crime syndicates.

Anthonie van der Bijl was killed in his wife's bar "De Hallen" near the major dairy and vegetables distribution centre in Amsterdam. Van de Bijl had been interogated by the police about his links to Willem Holleeder and had been released from custody on April 11. Last Thursday, April 20 he was shot by 3 gunmen.

Big time drug dealer Mounir Barsoum was shot dead on the same street on 8 July 2004.

Most of the murders occur in old organisation of Klaas Bruinsma, "The reverend". This organisation was heavily involved in the drugs trade, gambling, money laundering and real estate.

A possible explanation for the ongoing killing is a war between the established Dutch mafia and the mafia from former Yugoslavia. Others maintain that the organisations are multi-ethnic and all contain both Yugoslavs and Dutchmen.

The mafia is quite influential in Amsterdam and owns large numbers of houses and entertainment venues, such as bars and brothels. The administration has difficulty to fight criminal organisation, due to lacking experts who can counter its growing influence. Leading criminologists repeatedly urge the government to pay more attention to the mafia increasingly trying to infiltrate the economy of the big cities.

A very spectacular killing was the shooting of top criminal Sam Klepper, 40, among shoppers on the Gelderlandplein. Klepper was shot in the prescence of a friend and a new Yugoslavian bodyguard. A full clip of an AK-47 was emptied by the gunman at Klepper who futilely opened his umbrella in an attempt to ward the bullets off.

Klepper was buried with full honors by a motorcade of the Amsterdam Hell's Angels, another violent criminal organisation and the Headquarters of Hells's Angels in Europe. Hell's Angels received Amsterdam government subsidies for 20 years, claiming to be a youth centre.

It seems that the government has other priorities than fighting crime, organised or otherwise.

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