Mobster Daniel Kinahan’s close pal emerges as suspect for shooting Holland’s top crime reporter
Reports in the Netherlands say cops are probing the theory that Ridouan Taghi — who even attended Kinahan’s wedding in Dubai — ordered the hit on Peter De Vries on Tuesday evening
A close pal of mobster Daniel Kinahan has emerged as a suspect for the shooting of Holland’s top crime reporter.
Reports in the Netherlands say cops are probing the theory that Ridouan Taghi — who even attended Kinahan’s wedding in Dubai — ordered the hit on Peter De Vries on Tuesday evening.
Mr De Vries (64) was clinging to life last night after he was shot up to five times — including at least once in the head — when he was ambushed in broad daylight.
The attack happened in the centre of Amsterdam, shortly after Mr de Vries left the studios of RTL Television, where he had just finished recording an interview.
Footage later emerged of Mr De Vries lying helpless in the middle of the road, as two pensioners tried to help him.
Cops raced to the area and a few minutes later arrested three suspects on a main road out of the city.
One was later released without charge but two others, including a Polish national, were still being questioned last night, and were due to appear in court tomorrow.
Gun violence is rare in the Netherlands, but killings linked to the drug trade have become a fixture
In 2019, a lawyer in a high-profile drug case in which De Vries was acting as an advisor to the star witness was gunned down in front of his Amsterdam home.
De Vries began as a crime reporter and became known for his 1987 book The Heineken Kidnapping, reconstructing the abduction of beer magnate Freddy Heineken.
Kidnapper Willem Holleeder was convicted in 2014 for threatening De Vries, who helped the police solve cases for which Holleeder was ultimately sentenced to a life in prison.
De Vries also won an international Emmy award for his work investigating the disappearance of US teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005.
For 17 years he had his own TV programme, in which he often worked with victims’ families and tirelessly pursued unsolved cases.
The Netherlands King Willem-Alexander condemned the shooting as “an attack on journalism, a cornerstone of our rule of law”.
The Dutch royal house does not generally comment on individual incidents, so the remarks were a sign of De Vries’ standing.
European Council President Charles Michel called it “a crime against journalism and an attack on our values of democracy”, while European Parliament President David Sassoli said “attacks against journalists are attacks against all of us”.
Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema said in a televised news conference: “He is a national hero to us all. A rare, courageous journalist who tirelessly sought justice.”
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the attack “shocking and incomprehensible”.
Now, attention is turning to the police hunt for the mastermind behind the attack — and Kinahan’s pal Ridouan Taghi is being touted as a major suspect.
That is despite Taghi — nicknamed the Angel of death by Dutch media — denying he had anything to do with previous death threats against the journalist.
Dutch-Moroccan Taghi is currently on trial in Holland charged with 14 separate murders, including that of lawyer Derk Wiersum who worked with Mr De Vries to represent Nabil B, a key witness in the case against the mobster.
Taghi released a letter denying any involvement in the threats, but he was still being considered as a key suspect for the attempted murder last night. Taghi has long been a pal of Daniel Kinahan, who runs Ireland’s biggest drugs gang.
In 2016, at the height of the Kinahan-Hutch feud, gardai arrested Taghi’s key ally Naoufal Fassih (36) in a Dublin penthouse controlled by the cartel. Officers believed Kinahan was letting Fassih stay there as a favour to Taghi.
Fassih was later extradited to Amsterdam amidst tight security, and jailed for life for a gang murder.
Taghi attended Kinahan’s 2017 wedding to Dubliner Caoimhe Robinson at the luxury Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, and that led to the pair coming to the attention of the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration.
Undercover DEA operatives photographed the wedding and later sent sensitive documents to the Dutch authorities, claiming that Kinahan, Taghi, an Italian mafioso called Raffaele Imperiale and a Bosnian called Edin G all ran a massive cocaine cartel, that was one of the top 50 in the world. https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dublinlive.ie%2Fnews%2Fdublin-news%2Fmobster-daniel-kinahan-amsterdam-shooting-20997550&cre=bottom&cip=45&view=web
They claimed the cartel had a stranglehold on Peruvian cocaine that had most of the western European market sewn up.
The documents said the “super drugs cartel” controlled around a third of cocaine trade into Europe, with the main point of access through Dutch ports.