Dutch police seek Scottish criminals

Dutch police are searching for five Scottish criminals suspected of  abductions, torture, and murders, including the 2016 assassination of Netherlands crime writer Martin Kok. Police updated profiles for the Scottish men on their website Tuesday, writing that the suspects are part of a “large criminal organization” and their capture includes a reward of 5,000 pounds each.

The five profiles include “kingpin cocaine brothers” James (46) and Barry (42) Gillespie, accused in Scottish media of “heading Scotland’s biggest and richest organized crime gang,” and three of their “henchmen” named as Jordan Owen (25), accused of murder; James White (42), suspected of drug trafficking and other offenses; and Christopher Hughes (30), who was allegedly with crime reporter and former criminal Martin Kok the night he was murdered outside a Laren brothel. Among other things, Hughes is wanted for his involvement in the Kok assassination and for drug trafficking. The ‘most wanted man in The Netherlands’, Ridouan Taghi, is also wanted in connection to the murder of Kok.

Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, is searching for the men in several European countries using the operation name “Escalade.” The police characterize the criminals as “extremely dangerous men” who may be identifiable because of their heavy Scottish accents. Additionally, Scottish police claim the men “have grown up to be tough street fighters in the disadvantaged neighborhoods of Glasgow” and are known for easily getting into fights which might be noticed for example in the nightlife.

The police write that “There is a real chance that the five of them will regularly stay in the Netherlands, in particular in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven,” adding that some of the men may even reside in Amsterdam or stay in the capital city for long periods of time. Police say “The men may have been in contact with real estate agents or landlords to arrange accommodations. They may also have visited for example dentists, general practitioners or pharmacists.”

Beyond the Netherlands, police say the five also have ties in Belgium, France, Portugal and Spain – including Tenerife; investigators are requesting any information which could lead to the capture of the dangerous criminals.

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