The Arnhem court has decided that the undercover agents involved in the investigation into the series of attacks around fruit trader De Groot from Hedel must be interrogated. The criminal leaders Piet Costa and Piet S. have also been designated as witnesses by the court.
Since the summer of 2019, when more than 400 kilos of cocaine was found among a shipment of bananas, the Gelderland fruit trade has been confronted with an almost continuous stream of violent incidents. The owners had to pay millions of dollars, otherwise an employee would be killed. What followed was a series of violent shootings and arson attacks. In an attempt to stop the violence, the police deployed a controversial means of investigation in December 2020: a WOD trajectory, which stands for Werken Onder Dekmantel. These undercover officers approached a suspect and pulled him into a van, after which he completely deflated the two prime suspects in this case. These suspects were arrested a few days after his statements.
OM ‘not amused’
There is much to be said about the circumstances surrounding this undercover operation. The suspect says that there was a threat of violence, and that otherwise he would never have entered the van. The officers have stated in their report of the action that there was no violence or any pressure whatsoever. Because audio recordings are also missing (according to the judiciary there was no time to arrange this), the lawyers of the suspects asked if they could question the undercover agents. One of the prosecutors said Tuesday “not amused‘ about the lack of recordings, ‘because that would cause hassle’. According to the Public Prosecution Service, the fact that the recordings are missing says nothing about the reliability of the report that the agents have drawn up. Lawyers strongly criticized the investigative methods used on Tuesday.
The court has now decided that the officers, but also their escorts, should be heard about the state of affairs surrounding the undercover operation, which the lawyer of the suspect involved called a kidnapping. In addition, the court decided that the criminal leaders Roger P. (better known as Piet Costa) and Piet S. should be heard. The two are on trial in various lawsuits for large drug transports, and are considered major players in drug smuggling in the criminal environment. The two were both arrested last year after cracking the encrypted chat system Encrochat.
Piet Costa and Piet S. would know more
Main suspect Ali G. says he wants to hear the two leaders because he would have heard from them that the owner of fruit trader De Groot was involved in smuggling drugs. His lawyer recently denied this in various media, after new rumors about his involvement arose. The police and the judiciary also say they are not investigating possible involvement of De Groot in drug trafficking.
Ali G. has always said that he is aware of the extortion case, but has nothing to do with it. By hearing the two, Ali G. would like to reinforce that statement. Jan Hein Kuijpers, Piet Costa’s lawyer, hinted yesterday that hearing his client would be a hopeless exercise.
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