Netherlands

Undercover agents contradict the public prosecutor in the case of extorted fruit trade De Groot | Inland

The police and the judiciary pulled out all the stops to stop the violence around the extorted fruit company De Groot from Hedel. A suspect was arrested with the help of an undercover operation. The Public Prosecution Service stated that it was not possible to follow the bet live, but the opposite now appears to be true. The undercover officers contradict the public prosecutor on a number of points.




After 400 kilos of cocaine was found in the summer of 2019 between a shipment of bananas (which was delivered to De Groot Fresh Group in Hedel), the threats started. The owner was ordered to pay 1.2 million euros, otherwise a random employee would be liquidated. Due to a blunder of the judiciary, a list with more than 300 addresses of De Groot’s employee file was subsequently leaked. What followed was a series of attacks on the homes of (former) employees. Several people were seriously injured.

OM: ‘Technically not possible to listen in’

At the end of December 2020, an undercover process was therefore launched that caused a great deal of controversy. One of the suspects said he was forcibly pulled into a van, his lawyer even spoke of a kidnapping. In the van, the suspect made incriminating statements about, among other things, Ali G. and his half-brother. The police wrote in their report on the undercover operation that there was no violence at all and that the suspect had entered the van of his own accord. And, the prosecutor said at a hearing in June last year, “it was technically not possible to follow the action.”

This is important for the lawyers of the suspects because the findings of the undercover agents and ‘the kidnapped suspect’ are diametrically opposed. For example, there would have been no coercion, while the suspect correctly states that there was. It is important for the defense to check how this special action went, which is why two police officers who were involved in an investigating judge were interrogated two weeks ago. The two, who acted as supervisors for the undercovers, stated there that they could listen in live for security reasons. The officers also admitted that the device that was apparently installed in the van could also be used to record. Nevertheless, it was decided not to save these recordings.

Undercover agents contradict officer

The public prosecutor has previously said that it was not technically possible to listen in. So that turns out not to be true. This is striking, because the deployment of the undercover agents is an extensive investigative tool and it now appears that the Public Prosecution Service has not told the full truth about this.

The two officers also indicated to the investigating judge that they were in contact with an observation team, which was monitoring the van in which the suspect was taken. The public prosecutor initially stated otherwise. Moreover, no report was prepared by the members of the observation team.

The officers did not want to give more details about whether or not the undercover action was recorded. This is because methods and tactics would then become known. They did want to admit that the quality of the connection was bad, and that it was not possible to listen in properly. The connection would only have been established to monitor security. Cries for help from the undercover agents, for example, would have been heard. The officers said they had not noticed anything of a ‘kidnapping’, at most of light coercion.

The trial of a large number of suspects in the violence surrounding the fruit trade continues today.

Undercover agents contradict the public prosecutor in the case of extorted fruit trade De Groot | Inland
Source link Undercover agents contradict the public prosecutor in the case of extorted fruit trade De Groot | Inland

Back to top button