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Gun attack Gangster in alleged 'super mafia' pact with Daniel Kinahan probed over Dutch journalist shooting

Peter R de Vries (64) is in critical condition in hospital after being shot up to five times, including once in the head

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Ridouan Taghi, the crime boss who is alleged to be an ally of Daniel Kinahan

Ridouan Taghi, the crime boss who is alleged to be an ally of Daniel Kinahan

Ridouan Taghi, the crime boss who is alleged to be an ally of Daniel Kinahan

Police are investigating if an alleged business partner of cartel boss Daniel Kinahan ordered the murder of a high-profile Dutch crime journalist in Amsterdam last night.

Peter R de Vries (64) is in critical condition in hospital after being shot up to five times, including once in the head.

Dutch police arrested three suspects, including the suspected shooter.

Yesterday, police said that two men arrested on a highway shortly after the shooting, one of them a Polish national, would remain in custody, while a third person arrested in Amsterdam had been released.

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People lay flowers at scene of shooting of journalist Peter R de Vries

People lay flowers at scene of shooting of journalist Peter R de Vries

People lay flowers at scene of shooting of journalist Peter R de Vries

 

One line of enquiry is that the shooting may have been organised and carried out by the gang led by Ridouan Taghi (43), a Dutch-Moroccan organised-crime boss who is alleged to have formed a European 'super-mafia' with Daniel Kinahan as well as senior criminals from Bosnia, Italy and Chile.

Taghi is currently in custody and on trial with 16 of his associates, who face accusations relating to six gangland murders in the Netherlands as well as drugs trafficking charges.

In 2019, Taghi made a public statement denying reports he had threatened to have Mr de Vries killed.

Mr de Vries has been advising and acting as a confidant for a witness known as Nabil B in the case against Taghi and his alleged associates.

Nabil B's previous lawyer was shot dead in the street in Amsterdam in September 2019 and his brother has also been murdered by the ruthless mob.

Investigations by the American Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) established that Taghi was a prominent guest at Daniel Kinahan's wedding in Dubai in July 2017 while the Dutch criminal was on the run from police in his own country.

In February, it emerged that Kinahan was almost arrested by Dubai police in June 2019 in a hotel lobby when the Irish gangster went along to meet lawyers representing the fugitive mobster Taghi.

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At this stage, Taghi was the most wanted criminal in the Netherlands and described by Dutch police as the leader of a crime organisation described as an "oiled killing machine".

He was finally arrested in Dubai in December, 2019 and extradited back to Holland.

Gardaí believe one of Taghi's most trusted associates, Naoufal Fassih (36), was "put up" by the Kinahan cartel when he was arrested during a raid on a cartel-linked safe house on Baggot Street Dublin in 2016 and extradited to Holland where he was jailed for various offences.

Fassih had been hiding out in Dublin with the assistance of the cartel as he was wanted in the Netherlands in relation to gangland offences.

He was later sentenced to 18 years behind bars for ordering a gun attack on Dutch national Peter Raap, who survived the shooting.

In 2019, he was jailed for life for organising the December 2015 murder of Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi - an Iranian dissident living in the Netherlands.

Another associate of Daniel Kinahan, who also has strong links to Taghi and Fassih, is Chilean drugs trafficker Ricardo 'El Rico' Riquelme Vega who was jailed for 11 years last month for drugs trafficking.

Messages recovered from an encrypted phone gardaí seized from Fassih in Dublin were used as part of El Rico's trial.

The trial heard evidence that Vega had exchanged phone messages organising gangland murders with jailed drug boss Taghi.

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Peter R. de Vries

Peter R. de Vries

Peter R. de Vries

 

Judges were also told how Dubai-based Kinahan was in a video on a phone seized from El Rico following his arrest and extradition to Holland from Chile in 2017 that also featured Italian fugitive Raffaele Imperiale and another unidentified man.

Imperiale (46), a boss of the Naples-based Camorra organisation, is wanted by Italian authorities to serve an eight-year sentence for drug trafficking and is believed to be hiding out in Dubai - where Kinahan has been based since his gang's deadly feud with the Hutch mob kicked off resulting in 18 murders between September 2015 and January 2018.

Meanwhile, this week's gun attack on the Dutch journalist has caused outrage across Europe.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told a press conference in The Hague the attack was "shocking and inconceivable".

"It's an attack on a courageous journalist and by extension an attack on the freedom of the press, which is so essential for our democracy and rule of law," he said.

Mr de Vries was shot as he left a television studio after appearing on a talk show.

Mr de Vries won an International Emmy in 2008 for a show he made about the disappearance of US teenager Natalee Holloway in 2005.

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