biker bust | 

Irishman went undercover to help Dutch cops jail 15 Hell’s Angels members

The Irish native was a former criminal working with the gang but was secretly working in co-operation with the police.

Biker gang. Stock image

Hell's Angels stamp

Alan SherrySunday World

AN IRISHMAN went undercover as part of a Dutch police operation targeting the Hell’s Angels biker gang which has now led to the conviction of 15 people in the Netherlands and one in Finland.

Two years ago, cops in the Netherlands and Finland carried out more than 20 arrests and seized 100 kilos of amphetamine, more than 300 marijuana plants and five firearms as part of an investigation into international organised crime.

Two of the men arrested were members of the notorious Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang while one was a member of the Red Devils motorcycle gang.

Cops used a “criminal civilian infiltrator” as part of their operation. He was a former criminal working with the gang but was secretly working in co-operation with the police.

A criminal civilian infiltrator is someone who commits criminal offences with the knowledge of authorities in order to collect information on crime groups that would be otherwise unobtainable.

It was the first time such an operative have been used in the Netherland in 20 years after their use was banned in the 1990s due to a scandal.

They also used an Irishman, who retired from a UK police force in 2017, to pose as a drug trafficker from Ireland as part of the operation.

The Irishman, who is referred to only as A-4133 in police files to protect his real identity, discussed the shipment of methamphetamines to Ireland with gang members who were under investigation.

He posed as “Irish John” purporting to be a member of an Irish organised crime gang.

He worked in conjunction with the criminal civilian infiltrator known in case files as A-4110 to help Dutch cops target the alleged drugs operation and posed as the former Dutch criminal’s boss which helped lead to the arrests.

Twenty suspects aged between 25 and 73 went on trial for international drug trafficking. Lawyers for the suspects tried to argue that the use of the criminal civilian infiltrator had drawn the suspects into the drug world.

However, just over a week ago, a judge in the Netherlands ruled that the infiltrators involvement was legal.

“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."

He said it was "blatantly incorrect" that A-4110 drawn innocent civilians into the drug trade.

Fifteen of the 20 suspects on trial were found guilt by the court with 13 given prison terms of up to seven years.

Two others were sentenced to 80 hours community service while five were acquitted.

Hell's Angels stamp

Finnish authorities jailed a member of the Hell’s Angels for 11 years in 2020 as a result of the operation.

The Dutch case was seen as a test case for the use of criminal civilian infiltrators and authorities in the Netherlands are likely to deploy them in more operations.

After the arrests a spokesman for Dutch Public Prosecution Service said: “The criminal civilian infiltrator has given the criminal investigation officer a unique insight into the criminal environment of which he was a part. The detectives could never have built up that insight without his help.”

“Only by someone who is in close contact with criminals is it possible to break through the shielding methods that criminals use. Deployment of a criminal civilian infiltrator involves a careful decision-making process.”

The spokesman said a criminal civilian infiltrator is usually active within groups that are being investigated or closely associated with criminals. “That also makes him valuable for a criminal investigation. His safety has always been our focus.”

The infiltrator had been working for Dutch cops for two years in secret before police made a series of arrest.

The infiltrator’s information led to Dutch authorities stopping a vehicle in Groningen in the Netherlands just before the German border on March 2, 2020.

They discovered 87kilos of amphetamine destined for Finland where it would have had a street value of €700,000.

The Prosecution Service said that also as part of operation drugs were purchased from suspects between September 4, 2018 and April 1, 2019.

“These drugs - mostly amphetamine and a small amount of cocaine - were destined for England and Ireland, but were confiscated by the police.”

Dutch authorities also raided 8 different locations between March 2 and March 11 as part of the operation

The spokesman said five firearms with ammunition, brass knuckles and pepper spray were seized.

“A number of weapons were found in a plastic barrel in the ground. The searches also found 16 blocks of hashish and more than 300 hemp plants, small quantities of drugs such as speed, cocaine, GHB and ecstasy and necessities used in drug production. The remains of an underground hemp nursery were found at one of the addresses.”

Authorities also seized a house valued at €350,000 a number of expensive watches and three vehicles including a €300,000 BMW. Almost €100,000 in cash was also seized.

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