'The war on drugs is the wrong approach, look at the money flows'

Yesterday was the day of the shock and bewilderment following the liquidation of lawyer Derk Wiersum, today of measures. Minister Ferd Grapperhaus wants to set up a special brigade that will tackle drug crime. The suggestion was made earlier by the CDA and police association NPB. Grapperhaus said today that he really likes that idea.

The brigade, which comes under the National Police, must have specialized knowledge about drug gangs. The brigade must also become an important link between the digital investigation and other police services in the Netherlands, Europol and the services in other countries.

Lex Mellink, former police chief at the Utrecht police (region) and former director of the police academy, does have an advice to the minister. “Such a unit should not be aimed at combating drug crime. It should be aimed at taking money away. That requires a different way of investigating. A way that is more focused on collecting data and providing algorithms. “


The former police chief refers to the hundreds of millions that top criminals earn. “The annual turnover according to criminal assets exceeds the budget of many a small country, 22 billion according to a recent study in Amsterdam. Police and justice take away about 200 million a year, that's a joke,” says Mellink.

The war on drugs is a completely wrong approach, according to Mellink, for decades. “That only results in a lot of deaths and little change. We need to ensure a broader interplay.”

He says that undermining and creating a position in the upper world is the goal of criminals. “Money is the motive, not drugs. The search is only a small percentage geographically, the search for money is really important. So I see an important role for the Tax Authorities in cooperation with investigation services. Other investigation services than traditional investigation services. “

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