W.A mega-trial is taking place again in Amsterdam, and again it is about contract killings. And again about the drug lord Ridouan Taghi, who was arrested at the end of 2019 as the “most dangerous criminal” in the Netherlands and has had to answer to court since March. This time he is not accused himself, the public prosecutor’s office has waived for tactical procedural reasons. The 43-year-old leader of the Mocro Mafia, as the gangs are called because of their many Moroccan-born members, is expected to face life imprisonment in “his” Marengo trial anyway.
Nevertheless, he is also said to be behind the acts for which 21 men are now on trial in the so-called Eris trial. The names of the criminal proceedings are chosen arbitrarily; in the Netherlands they are generated randomly by computer in order to avoid pre-determined tendencies. But they are related in one thing.
“Most dangerous offender” in the Netherlands
The Marengo trial deals with planned and executed contract killings between September 2015 and January 14, 2017. On that day, one of Taghi’s henchmen changed sides. Nabil B. turned himself in to the police after a breakdown occurred. A murder squad, for which B. had prepared everything, got the wrong person – that was a close friend of his, of all people. B. unpacked and is now the key witness against Taghi. In connection with this, three other murders have occurred, most of which also roused the Dutch public. In mid-July, the well-known journalist Peter R. de Vries was shot in the middle of Amsterdam, he was the confidante of the key witness. His lawyer and brother had previously been murdered.
The Eris case is about what happened after Nabil B changed sides. At first, Taghi only knew that B. had been arrested and had no idea what his statement would be. His business had to go on, which not only concerned the drug trade, but also the way in which conflicts are carried out in this milieu: with the gun, sometimes with the bazooka. And so, according to the public prosecutor’s office, Taghi immediately commissioned the next murder, this time it should hit the right person. However, the driver of the “miscarriage” no longer wanted to participate. Justin Jap Tjong, 25, paid with his life two weeks later for this. He was shot dead not far from the high-security building in Amsterdam-Osdorp, where the trial began on Monday.
This act is said to go to the account of Delano R., the main defendant. In 2016 he founded the motorcycle club Caloh Wagoh, which was not about motorcycles, but about jobs in a criminal environment. Taghi is said to have hired him, R. took care of the rest. His men procured weapons and getaway cars, they scouted out victims – and struck: five murders in eight months, eleven more were tried, prepared or ordered. Most of the defendants are from the motorcycle gang.