Interpol and Dutch police are expected to step up the global manhunt for the head of a Moroccan gang after a lawyer was shot dead in Amsterdam this week.
Derk Wiersum, 44, was shot dead on Wednesday, 18 September, outside his home in the city, shocking residents of a country which is beginning to wonder if it is becoming a “narco-state”.
The @ArrestedLawyers Initiative is utterly shocked by the murder of Dutch lawyer Derk Wiersum.— The Arrested Lawyers (@ArrestedLawyers) September 18, 2019
We strongly condemn this cowardly attack on our colleague, the legal profession and the Rule of Law.@UNIndepJudges @EndangeredL @ProtectLawyers @L4L_INT @oBarreaux @Anwaltverein pic.twitter.com/eoGRo7xkYL
Mr Wiersum had represented Nabil Bakkali, a gangster who became the state’s main prosecution witness in the so-called Mocro Maffia murder trial.
Bakkali’s brother, Reduan, an innocent businessman, was killed near an Amsterdam shipyard last year.
Bakkali had been a member of a gang run by Ridouan Taghi, 41, who is believed to have ordered eight murders between 2015 and 2017 linked to the cocaine trade.
The feud between Taghi’s gang and another group has already sparked a Dutch-language Netflix series, Mocro Maffia.
The show - which is fictional but heavily influenced by recent events in the Moroccan Dutch underworld - focuses on three friends, Pencil, Romano and The Pope, who become major drug dealers.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the assassination in broad daylight of Mr Wiersum was "incredibly disturbing."
Mr Rutte said: "This is very alarming news. The police and the public prosecutor are investigating.”
This is Said Razzouki - one of the leading figures in Holland's Mocro Maffia - which is believed to have been behind the assassination of lawyer Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam this week. #mocromaffia pic.twitter.com/VQevuoz7Mx— Total Crime (@totalcrime) September 19, 2019
Among the murders they are believed to have ordered is that of Dutch crime blogger Martin Kok, who was shot dead outside a sex club in December 2016.
Taghi is also said to have ordered the murders of Ranko Scekic and Hakim Changachi in Utrecht in 2015 and 2017.
The Netherlands has long been known for tolerating marijuana but earlier this month Amsterdam city council said drugs was now a major scourge.
Death of Derk Wiersum by the numbers. pic.twitter.com/KV6PMd9f3I— Godlike (@MDLI34) September 19, 2019
The report said: "Drug-related organised crime - the 'underworld' - exerts a significant influence on our city."
Jan Struijs, of the NPB police union, said: "This is a confirmation that we live in a narco-state. It is an attack on the rule of law."
It is thought Taghi may be hiding in the Moroccan city of Marrakech but keeping in touch with his underlings in Holland by means of an encrypted phone.
In November 2004, Mohammed Bouyeri, a Moroccan-Dutch man, shot and stabbed film director Theo van Gogh to death on the streets of Amsterdam for making a film which criticised Islam's treatment of women.