NOS News•Today, 14:43
The deployment of a criminal civilian infiltrator in a large drug case in Friesland went according to the rules. That is what the court in Leeuwarden ruled. As far as is known, it is the first time since the 1990s that this means of detection has been used.
In this case, twenty suspects between the ages of 25 and 73 were on trial for international drug trafficking. The court sentenced thirteen of them to prison terms of up to seven years. Two people were sentenced to 80 hours of community service and five suspects were acquitted.
The Public Prosecution Service had demanded a prison sentence of up to eight years against fourteen suspects. For the other six, the judiciary had in mind community service.
To catch the drug smugglers, the police and the Public Prosecution Service deployed a criminal infiltrator, who passed on information about his accomplices to the investigative services as a mole. A criminal infiltrator is someone who commits criminal offenses in the criminal environment.
The only known about the infiltrator is that it is a man from Leeuwarden, who is known in the investigation as A-4110. He got according to Omrop Friesland about 100,000 euros for his services.
This is what the Public Prosecution Service said in March 2020 about the deployment of the criminal civilian infiltrator:
“It is a heavy substance, which we have thought carefully about. We saw a closed club that was engaged in international drug trafficking. An ordinary infiltrator, that would not work. This gave us a unique insight into this environment. It was agreed in advance that he was allowed to deal in drugs and money laundering under the direction of the police. The safety of the person has always come first … such a double role is very exciting for everyone.”
His deployment went according to the rules, the court says. “His statements are reliable and can be used as evidence. It has not been shown that the infiltrator provoked the suspects in an unacceptable way. The file shows that the main suspects were all already deeply involved in the international drug trade.” The judge therefore calls it “blatantly incorrect” that A-4110 has withdrawn innocent civilians from the drug trade.
The use of a criminal civilian infiltrator was banned until 2014, after the 1990s debacle known as the IRT affair. The police then let controlled batches of drugs through to trace the criminal activities of the successors of ‘drug baron’ Klaas Bruinsma. The police went way too far in this, concluded a parliamentary committee of inquiry in 1994. That led to the ban in 1998.
Lawyers and criminal law experts therefore see the case in Friesland as a trial trial for the deployment of criminal civilian infiltrators.
According to the judge in Leeuwarden, there were no derailments in the drug case as in the 1990s. “No amounts of drugs have passed through and ended up in society.” The judge described the mole as “steerable and reliable”. “It has also not been shown that A-4110 committed criminal offenses on its own and abused its position as a criminal civilian infiltrator through a double game.”